Set-top boxes (STBs) are likely to become cheaper as an ingenuously-developed solution for conditional access system (CAS) will be made available to domestic manufacturers at less than half the current prices. Also Read - Dish TV now offers 3 types of set-top-boxes; here is everything you need to knowAlso Read - Tata Sky set-top-box prices slashed by up to Rs 300, all you need to know
Domestic CAS licences will be provided for around Rs 32 or $0.5, compared to the current market cost of $2-3 per licence. Also Read - Tata Sky vs D2h vs Dish TV vs Airtel Digital TV: Set-top-box prices, starter pack benefits compared
The average cost of one STB is in the range of Rs 800-1200. According to an official in Communications and IT Ministry, the indigenous CAS has been developed by state-run C-DAC along with a Bangalore-based firm ByDesign.
“The developer will make available Indian CAS to all domestic manufacturers of STBs and operators at not more than $0.5 per licence,” the official said.
The total cost of the project is Rs 29.99 crore, of which Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY) will contribute Rs 19.79 crore, while ByDesign will provide the rest. C-DAC, which falls under DeitY, undertakes research and development in the field of IT, electronics and associated areas.
The official said that the project will soon be flagged off for commercial implementation. In order to boost domestic manufacturing, the government had declared STBs as telecom network equipment, a move that will help domestic manufacturers produce them at more competitive prices by availing tax exemptions.
The government had earlier set a target to digitize the cable sector in the country by the end of 2015. However, the target was not met.