SMIT Corp to launch STB-free viewing of pay channels in India
Chennai, Feb 18 : The Hong Kong-headquartered SMIT Corporation will soon join hands with an Indian direct-to-home (DTH) player and a major consumer durable maker to offer set top box-free viewing of pay channels, said an official.
"By June, we plan to launch our product tying up with a DTH player and a television maker. Our conditional access module (CAM) will enable people with integrated digital televisions (IDTV) to view television channels without a set top box (STB)," Himanshu Sharma, country manager, India at SMIT Corporation told IANS.
Declining to share the names of the DTH layer and the television maker, Sharma did not confirm or deny that the consumer durable maker is of Korean origin.
He said SMIT Corporation is a global player in the CAM domain selling its products in Europe and other markets out of its Chinese factory.
"The product will be like a giant sized SIM card. It will have to be inserted behind IDTVs and the DTH/cable operators can programme the channels that could be watched," Sharma said.
"There is no need for a separate set top box with several wires jutting out. Again there will not be any separate remote. The power consumption will be far lesser than a set top box," he added.
Queried about the cost, Sharma said: "In Europe we sell our product for $17. In India it will be lower than that as the market is big."
He said the company is looking at the future market as all the televisions will have a slot for CAMs.
"Around five million televisions sets are being sold in India per year. And all of them will have the facility for CAM as it reduces the inventory cost for the television makers," he said.
Asked about the market reaction, Sharma remarked: "DTH players agree that CAMs is the way forward. Cable television operators are not open to the idea, but they will realise in course of time."
He said the cable operators can broadcast only a limited number of television channels and hence they can charge broadcasters a fancy carriage fee. But when CAM becomes popular the concept of carriage fee will vanish.