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Trai withdraws paper on IPTV

The TRAI has decided to withdraw its consultation paper which recommended not placing IPTV under the purview of the Cable act. This follows strong opposition from the cable and broadcasting industry over the last week.

The basic intention behind the proposed amendments in the Cable Television (Regulation) Act, 1995 was to keep the IPTV service outside the definition of `cable services’.

Today’s development notwithstanding, the regulator played down the issue. “The chairman has indicated that probably the consultation paper needs to be revised. We would take a final decision soon,” a Trai official told Indiantelevision.com in the evening.

Source: Indian television.

IPTV : cable TV or broadband?

The Financial Express has a story on the ongoing dispute between cable TV / DTH operators and telecom majors over the classification of IPTV; i.e. should IPTV be categorised under the cable TV act or the Telegraph act?

Cable consortium MSO Alliance stated that if IPTV was kept outside the cable laws, cable operators could not upgrade their IPTV services to digital IPTV without unified licence.

The stakeholders urged Trai to amend the Act to include voice, video and data.

This was in reponse to a TRAI proposal that recommended IPTV not be treated as cable TV.

Sources: The financial express, Indian television.

Airtel planning to launch triple play in November

Following recent announcements by BSNL and MTNL, Airtel have now announced plans to launch triple play services in November.

Bharti group Chairman Sunil Mittal said the company was in the process of finalising commercial arrangements for offering “triple play”, which was currently being extended to its fixed-line customers in Gurgaon on a pilot basis.

“When we go into the final commercial mode, which will happen in the next 4-5 months, then anybody who has an Airtel connection can get triple play,” Mittal said.

Story: Business Standard.

MTNL's IPTV content to carry anti-piracy fingerprint

Time broadband service who are apparently the primary content providers for MTNL's forthcoming IPTV rollout, have tied up with Verimatrix to add user-specific watermarking to all digital content.

Verimatrix, developer of the most widely deployed IPTV content protection system with tier one operators, today announced at CommunicAsia 2006 that its Verimatrix Content Authority System (VCAS) and patent-pending VideoMark(TM) user-specific forensic watermarking will be deployed on the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) Delhi network. Time Broadband Service of India is providing the content delivery network as the first broadband content partner for state-owned incumbent MTNL's IPTV service, which is the first commercial video-tier rich-media service in India.

Also of interest is the brief mention of H.264 compatible set-top boxes. Related link: X264 library.

Full story: VoIP magazine.

BSNL broadband to roll out "triple play" services in Pune

BSNL plans to launch triple play services in Pune on Independence Day. Apparently, a similar initiative is being undertaken in Bangalore as well.

Pune will become the first city in the country when the BSNL will launch multi player services through broadband connection on August 15. Here are some of the features that are on offer:
* Bouquet of cable channels
* Video on demand
* Video conferencing
* TV-to-TV SMS
* E-classes