A pilot study on direct-to-mobile broadcasting, which has the potential to enhance the reach of television manifolds, will be carried out in an area in the National Capital Region (NCR) soon, Information and Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra said on Thursday.
Apart from New Delhi, NCR comprises cities and towns of neighbouring States.
Addressing the Big Picture Summit, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry in New Delhi, Chandra said direct to mobile broadcasting was the next big thing for TV media as it has the potential to increase viewership manifold.
Currently, there are about 20 crore (200 million) TV households in the country. India has over 60 crore (600 million) smartphone users and 80 crore (800 million) broadband users. Reach of television media is set to be much higher, the top government official said, according to a PTI report.
According to Chandra, the Indian Institute of Technology- Kanpur and Sankhya Labs have carried out a pilot study on direct-to-mobile broadcasting in Bengaluru and are now launching another study in either Noida or some place near Delhi.
Direct-to-mobile technology works similarly to FM radio where a receiver built into the gadget can access radio frequencies.
Broadband and broadcast technologies are combined to enable mobile phones to receive local digital TV feeds, thereby enabling multimedia content to be broadcast directly to smart phones.
Moving on to other matters on MIB’s plate, Chandra highlighted the government was working on the issue of television audience measurement data, popularly known as TRPs (TV rating points).
A pilot project on return path data (RPD) has been successful and a report on that will be available soon, he said.
“We will now integrate more and more reverse path data as the number of households involved in BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council India) ratings was quite low. With RPD, the TRPs (eco-system) will become much larger,” Chandra said.
RPD-capable set-top boxes can store data of the TV channels that were viewed and return the information to the cable operator, which may in-turn be assessed by BARC India to ascertain the viewing data.
Earlier, Chandra said the shift towards new media for consuming information from traditional sources, such as newspapers, has presented a challenge of credibility before the government.
Chandra said India has over 1.2 billion mobile phone users and 600 million smartphone users who are consuming a high amount of information and entertainment via mobile devices.
He said that recently there has been a shift from the traditional media as youngsters were consuming information from new media sources.
This has presented a challenge of credibility and that presented a challenge to the government, Chandra pointed out.