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Govt prepares draft to use Middleware for broadcasting TV channel content without Internet


Can you imagine watching your favourite television channel programmes on a portable device without the need for mobile data and additional hardware or plug-in? Soon, that could be possible, at least until the next FIFA World Cup.

The Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC) has prepared a draft in which it said Middleware can be used to deliver broadcast content to portable devices through Wireless LAN/WiFi.

Middleware can be used in various scenarios such as BharatNet in rural areas. WiFi access points through PMWANI can also deploy Middleware so that the broadcast channels are also available to users without using Internet data, and it can also be deployed for inflight entertainments, Railway stations and airports, malls and in moving vehicles (State road transport buses/ city buses/ trains/ taxis/ cars), it said.

Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC) is the technical arm of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), and its activities include framing of standards for generic requirements for a product/equipment, standards for interface requirements for a product/ equipment, and support to DoT on technical/ technology issues.

“A local content server can be hosted for various offline services. The content is consumed by end-users using browsers on smartphones and laptops by accessing a web portal through the WLAN/WiFi. Additionally, the end-user can switch to regular over-the-top (OTT) services if the access point has been connected to the Internet backhaul,” said the draft, ‘Standard for Generic Requirements’, seen by BusinessLine.

On how it would work, the draft explained that a dish antenna on the ground at the ‘gateway location’ can receive the downlinked signals from a satellite and terrestrial signals are similarly received via a smaller antenna.

“A device at the antenna amplifies these signals and converts them to a suitable band for consumption by demodulation devices. A demodulation device is tuned only for a particular frequency, and can only receive a certain number of channels. So, ideally, one would need a great number of these devices to cater to all satellite and terrestrial channels,” it noted.

This device further converts the signals to baseband signals containing multiple direct-to-video (DTV) or radio channels and are streamed out, it said.

“One of our focus areas is to ensure that the audio/ video content is consumed by the end user without having to rely on any kind of specialised software or plugin. Having to install third party plugins or players is not only an inconvenience but also a risk factor for the user,” the TEC added in the draft.





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