February 2017

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Q: I am a cable operator in a DAS-4 area.

What is the latest DAS-4 deadline? Will it be postponed further?

Do I need to obtain a new license as a Digital LCO? Can I continue to use my Analog LCO license?

Which authority will issue the Digital LCO license?

Rahul Nagre, Sai Cable Network,
Niphad, Nashik, Maharashtra.

ANS: The DAS-4 deadline has been revised to 31st March, 2017. It is most unlikely that it will be postponed any further. Hence, I would strongly recommend that you prepare to completely shift to digital CATV by end March, 2017.

Yes, the Digital LCO license is different from the Analog LCO license. You will be permitted to operate as an LCO after 1st April, 2017 only if you have a digital LCO license.

The Digital LCO license is to be obtained from the same authority that issued you the Analog LCO license. According to the TRAI recommendations, the DAS LCO license will be issued by: "The Senior Superintendent of Post Offices (Division Head) in whose area the revenue district falls shall grant District Level licenses to Cable TV operators on receipt of application form, entry fee, other supporting documents as defined and after fulfilling other formalities."

The TRAI had recommended a 5 year DAS LCO license duration, with a license fee of Rs. 10,000 for District level licenses & Rs. 100,000 for State level DAS LCO licenses.

Q: I am an LCO in a DAS 4 area. I already receive an Analog + Digital Cable TV signal from an MSO through an optical fibre.

I have now got an offer from a second MSO asking me to also carry his signals which he can send me through another optical fibre.

I have shown a block diagram of how I will receive and distribute these signals. My plan is to provide my customers with a choice of 2 different STBs from MSO-1 or MSO-2. If they want, they can also take both these STBs if they are willing to pay more.

The Analog and Digital Cable TV signal frequencies from MSO 1 and MSO 2 are almost exactly the same i.e. they both offer Digital Cable TV signals from Channel S-21.

Is it possible for me to carry signals of both MSOs as shown in my block diagram?

Kesava Reddy, By E-mail.

ANS: The optical signals from each MSO are being converted by you into RF signals using optical nodes. The digital & analog signal frequencies from these 2 optical nodes will be exactly the same as you have mentioned. Hence it is not possible for you to mix the 2 RF feeds from the 2 MSOs. The signals will interfere and your customers will not receive any picture.

Your only option is to request the new MSO to shift the RF frequencies at which he is transmitting his signals. After that you can follow the block diagram you have indicated.

Another option is to receive a digital IP signal from MSO-2. You will then have to feed this IP signal into an Edge QAM modulator at your control room. The RF output of the Edge QAM modulator will have to be set so that it does not overlap with the RF signals from MSO-1. You can then mix the 2 RF signals and transmit on your existing cable TV distribution system. It may of course be difficult for you to obtain the carriage of the IP signal from MSO-2 to your control room. Also the cost of the Edge QAM modulator will be quite substantial.

NOTE: DAS Phase-4 areas must shut off all their analog cable TV signals from 1st April 2017.


Q: We have started a DAS MSO in West Bengal.

Am I permitted to receive and carry FreeDish DD DTH channels on our DAS network?

A. Chakraborthy,
West Bengal, By Phone.

ANS: FreeDish carries only free-to-air channels and from a copyright point of view, no channel currently available on FreeDish should have any objection as you are providing them carriage without charging a carriage fee.

However, strictly speaking, the Cable Act and BIS specifications dictate that:

1. All TV channels carried on a cable TV network must be received via C-band downlink only.

2. All Headends must receive satellite channels only with a 12 feet diameter wire mesh dish antenna (that meets BIS specifications).

The channels received via a C-band 12 feet dish antenna will have an excellent Signal-To-Noise (S/N) Ratio, i.e. low received noise. As a result, the channel clarity will be maintained even after the signal is distributed through multiple RF amplifiers on your network.

The signal received at the headend from a small Ku band dish may look good at the headend. However, down the line, after the signal is amplified through several amplifiers, the picture quality will deteriorate rapidly. Hence even from a technical point of view, receiving C-band signals via a 12 feet mesh dish antenna is the best solution.

Dish Doctor
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