Bangalore: Bharti Airtel has become the latest entrant to introduce direct to home or DTH services, Indian DTH market is dominated by Dish, Tata Sky, Reliance Big entertainment and southern broadcaster Sun TV.
Bharti's venture is being baked by technology from US semiconductors maker for wired and wireless communications, Broadcom Corporation, who will provide highly integrated satellite set-top box (STB) system-on-a-chip (SoC) Bharti's new venture, Airtel digital TV.
This is Broadcom's first commercial satellite product launch in India, a market that it is looking at seriously as it feel the growing interest in DTH TV services will boost the growing pay TV market.
The Indian DTH or pay TV market is estimated to grow to 90 million subscribers by 2012, says In-Stat market research.
''Direct-to-home technology is emerging as the leading digital TV transmission platform in India,'' says Mike Paxton, a principal analyst at In-Stat, a leading market research firm. ''Consumer demand for better picture quality and advanced video services have become catalysts that are driving demand for DTH pay-TV services throughout India.''
Bharti opted for the Broadcom BCM7454 standard definition satellite STB with integrated H.264, MPEG-4 and VC-1 video decoding, and the Broadcom BCM4505 integrated satellite tuner and demodulator front-end solution.
This selection of Broadcom's DVB-S2 technology, which provides 30 per cent greater capacity when compared to the DVB-S standard, allows Bharti Airtel to offer additional services, channels, and on-demand and interactive content within the same transponder allocation, providing subscribers with more television choices and a better overall user experience. Both the BCM7454 satellite STB SoC and BCM4505 satellite receiver are currently being deployed in set-top boxes to Bharti Airtel customers nationwide, marking the company's foray into satellite TV services.
''We are very pleased to be working with Broadcom to deliver digital satellite services to India's TV market,'' said N. Arjun, executive director, Bharti Telemedia. ''With the proliferation and increasing demand for digital media content in India, we are focused on offering advanced technology solutions that provide a better user experience to the Indian digital television market.''
India is an emerging market for DTH services with a large television viewing population. Specifically, the number of DTH subscribers in India is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 38.9 percent from 2007 to 2012. This includes 4.3 million DTH subscribers in 2007 that will grow to approximately 22.2 million subscribers by 2012, according to In-Stat market research, and the Indian DTH market is expected to capture 24.6 percent of the total pay-TV subscriber base by 2012. Bharti Airtel's selection of DVB-S2 and MPEG-4 technologies positions Broadcom to benefit from the growing DTH demand in India for next generation high definition (HD) set-top box and digital video recorder (DVR) deployments. With significant research and development centers in Bangalore and Hyderabad, Broadcom supports various global business initiatives.
''We are excited to support highly integrated satellite STB solutions that provide advanced services and reduce the overall STB cost for Indian operators,'' said Dan Marotta, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Broadcom's Broadband Communications Group. ''We look forward to our continued collaboration with Bharti Airtel to help launch next generation satellite services for pay-TV customers in India.''