Cable Sharing for InCableNet's InDigital Service - Mumbai

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baudhayan

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Thought of sharing this information posted on my Blog. Might be of some help to few people trying hard to achieve cable sharing with STB."With the implementation of CAS (Conditional Access System) in India, having multiple cable connections in your home might turn out to be an expensive proposition. But with a little bit of tweaking here & there, you can still continue to share your cable connection with the STB (Set Top Box) provided, without opting for multiple cable connections & paying additional cable connection charges.I am talking about the scenario where-in your STB provides 2 outputs - one is an AV-out, providing Digital quality output, through which you can watch only the encrypted channels (or Pay channels) being decrypted by the STB & the other is the RF-out through which you can watch the traditional cable airing few FTA (Free To Air) channels & few Pay channels. This scenario would work if & only if your STB provides the output with the specifications I have explained in the previous statement.To explain it in the layman's language, I have a cable connection coming in to my Hall provided by a big time MSO (Multi Service Operator) in my city. My area falls under non-CAS notified areas. So, even if I don't opt for a STB, I can view a decent list of channels. But with a STB, I get even more channels & that too digital quality. Now coming to the idea of cable splitting; I have 3 TV's in my flat - one located in my Hall, the 2nd one in the Common Bed Room & the 3rd one through my PCs' TV-tuner card located in the Master Bed Room. The main cable line does not have enough signal strength to drive 3 TV's parallely even with a 1:3 Cable Splitting device. Do remember that STB's require quite a good signal strength to give you that crystal clear picture quality. If you do not provide the direct main cable line connectivity to your STB, you might end up viewing many channels through the STB which are highly pixelated. The perfect connectivity scenario is as follows -Connect the main cable line to the RF-in of STB.Connect the AV-out of the STB to the TV located in the Hall.Connect the RF-out of the STB to the 1:3 Cable Splitter IN point. Here the STB itself acts as a signal amplifier/booster. Hence you do not require a 1:3 amplified Cable Splitter.Connect OUT 1 of the Cable Splitter to RF-in of the TV located in Hall.Connect OUT 2 of the Cable Splitter to the cable line going to your Common Bed Room.Connect OUT 3 of the Cable Splitter to the cable line going to your Master Bed Room.NOTE: With this connectivity scenario you need to keep the STB located in your Hall at least in STANDBY mode for viewing FTA channels in the other rooms (since the STB acts as the cable signal amplifier). To view the encrypted channels you need to completely turn on your STB. Also, all the TV's can view FTA channels independently, but when it comes to encrypted channels, all TV's view the same content. The STB which I am using also provides the encrypted channel output in RF mode known as the RF modulator channel. So old TV's which do not have an AV-out can view the STB channels using RF cable in the RF modulator channel specified in the STB configuration settings. In my case, I have set the STB RF modulator channel to Channel # 3 of my TV. This is the key setting due to which you can view the encrypted channels in the TV's located in the other rooms.The above mentioned connectivity scenario will provide the following viewing options:Hall TV - FTA channels in TV mode & encrypted channels in AV mode through the STB.Common Bed Room TV - FTA channels in all TV mode channels excluding Channel # 3. In Channel # 3 you can view the STB encrypted channel.Master Bed Room TV - FTA channels in all TV mode channels excluding Channel # 3. In Channel # 3 you can view the STB encrypted channel.This cable splitting configuration has given me the following advantage - my mom can comfortably watch her favourite regional language (encrypted) channel, on Channel # 3, sitting in any of the Bed Rooms, by just turning on the STB in the Hall. At the same time, me & my dad can continue to watch our favourite Cricket shows, in TV mode in the Hall, being aired as FTA channel, thus not requiring the STB.Isn't this cable splitting configuration quite interesting & cost saving. Do try it at your home & post your comments if this configuration works out for you.":thumbsup:
 
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alian1980

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Nice article, Mr. Baudhayan Lahiri. Would you also share your views on the Digital services of Incablenet. It will be helpful for members who have Incablenet in their area.
 
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baudhayan

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Thanks for the appreciation. With regards to InCablenet, there is not much to speak about since InCablenet already has a large userbase in Mumbai & also the other cities. When it comes to InDigital I can still say that they are quite at a nascent stage since CAS has been around for just over an year. As per whatever I have explored they have still not started with Value Added Services like "Movie On Demand" & their STB's still have not been enabled with Active channels like the one's Tata Sky & Dish TV offer. I being a hard core technical person firmly believe that its just a matter of time before such services are rolled out. These services are actually entirely dependent on the STB software. The STB's support OTA (Over The Air) software updates & once they have a good feature rich STB software with a good content running at the back end, you will hardly find any difference in the services offered in InDigital & other DTH service providers. InCablenet (as per my info) is usng Nagravision CAS provisioning system, who are also providing a large section of STB's (the one which I possess). Nagravision is an industry leader in CAS based system & I firmly believe if they work together with the InCablenet team a lot of VAS feafutes can be added on the STB's. InCablenet is distributing 2 brands of STB's - 1 brand which I don't recollect the name & the other is from Nagravision. I found the Nagravision STB much interesting. One of the key features is the EPG (Electronic Program Guide) being offered in a spreadsheet format. So you can view the program listings of each channel individually for the entire week by pressing the EPG button. Unfortunately EPG for all channels is currently unavailable. One major bug is that the STB loses its Favourite Channel data whenever new channels get added by InCablenet. And also all FTA channels are not streamed through the STB. So you have to again switch to TV mode from AV mode if you don't find a particular channel in the STB channel list. The picture quality is DVD like & also in Nat-Geo, Discovery & few other channels you can select both Hindi & English audio tracks using a dedicated Audio (Red) button on the STB remote. Though I am quite happy with the InDigital services, I still expect a lot more Value Added Services in the times to come.