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India's Digicable plans infrastructure for 500 TV channels

Indian multi system operator (MSO) Digicable is installing a 500 channel headend ahead of the country's move to cable TV digitisation, beginning with the four major metros on 1 July 2012.

"We are in the process of setting up a 500 channels on land headend in the country. We will be fourth in the world after Singapore, Germany and USA, and first in the country to do so," Amit Nag, vice president, Digicable told the Press Trust of India.

The headend – to facilitate the reception and processing of TV signals for distribution via cable networks - would cost between INR 10 crore and INR 15 crore, he said.

Digicable currently has about 28,000km of optical fibre cable in India. The company is considering installing the 500 channel headend in Mumbai, or another single location. By then distributing the channels via the MSO's fibre optic network, it would negate the need for headend or channel aggregators in each city or state the MSO operates in, as has been traditionally used.

The government mandate to digitise India's fragmented cable TV network is expected to provide a boost for the state economy, consumer choice, broadcasters' revenues, cable and direct to home (DTH) subscriptions, and investment opportunity.

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