Aug 29 2006
No, I’m not talking about the latest Indian reality based programming, but what is turning into reality for many Indian TV viewers – multiple options. Just a year back you had two options for programming: 1. OTA (over the air) via an antenna, but that limited you to programming by Doordarshan – which loosely translates to “boring and stale programming offered by the government of India” 2. Cable connection offered by the local cable provider. I’m venturing to guess there are more cable providers in Bombay then all of the world and yet not of them compete with each other. Each cable guy has his territory and does what he wants. Service is shoddy at best and was really your only option Enter a new era, in the past couple months DTH (direct to home) satellite providers have been aggressively pushing their products and behind the scenes the IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) providers have been busy with trials. The DTH guys are: 1. Tata Sky – obviously run by the Tata Group one of India’s largest business conglomerates. Tata Sky has been plastering Bombay with ads all over the city and doing demonstrations for large building complexes. I had a chance to sit through one of them and was impressed with it’s offering. 2. dishtv – backed by Subash Chandra of Zee Telefilms Limited and Chairman of the Essel Group of Companies. Subash is known for bringing to India the first private satellite television channel named Zee TV in October 1992. The IPTV folks have been much more quiet but Reliance has a trial going on at Petit Hall apartment building which is located on Nepeansea Road in South Bombay. The feedback from someone I know who lives there is that the “Triple Play” (voice, video, internet) service is good. MTNL has been in the press lately as signing up content providers for their upcoming launch of IPTV. In the end, with all these choices the consumer is going to be the winner.