The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has announced that they will be monitoring the progress and implementation of cable TV digitization in the country through a Centralised Monitoring System. The idea behind this system is to keep a tab on MSOs (Multi-System Operators), and ensure that they are only relaying genuine encrypted signals on their network.
A web based pilot project for the monitoring system has been set up in Bangalore, and is currently undergoing testing. This system will connect with all the registered MSOs offering cable TV service to a bunch of local cable operators, and will detect the type of each individual TV channel signal for encryption status.
The Centralised Monitoring System will be used to detect the particular MSOs who may be infringing on the rule by also carrying signals that are not encrypted, as mandated. The areas where cable TV digitization has been rolled out, the MSOs are required to carry encrypted signals of all TV channels. This is mandated by Section 4A of Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, and any Transmission / Re-transmission of unencrypted signals would be violation of the act.
It seems very sensible that the I&B Ministry is currently monitoring the bigger operators, who feed the service to the smaller/local cable operators. This will ensure compliance for the Digital Addressable System (DAS) as it rolls out in phases across India. This monitoring system, in the future, can be upgraded to monitor local cable operators as well.