Star India to Launch More HD Channels


26 Aug 2011
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There’s TV over the Internet, there’s TV in your smartphone and then there’s the id*ot box in your living room. But with the arrival of High-definition (HD) TV, the id*ot box has gained respect. With over 30 HD channels in India, HD TV has enhanced user experience. And increased IT’s workload. Varsha Chidambaram spoke to Venkat Iyer, sr. VP-IT, STAR India, to understand how he is it taking on the challenge.

Q: What’s the future of HD TV in India and how are you preparing to meet it?
A: Today, we have four channels on HD. Going forward, we will migrate more channels to HD based on business needs. Also, quite a few of our channels are run from regional locations like Kolkata and Chennai where production facilities are located. Hence, we have to create additional infrastructure at all these locations.

Q: What new IT challenges does HD TV bring?
A: The size of standard definition (SD) video of say 30 minutes will be about one GB, but with HD it's about 20 GB. Hence, the bandwidth, storage and routing needs are way higher. Also, investment tends to increase.

Q: How are you tackling this problem?
A: We have outsourced the production and post-production processes. However, we still need to take care of network requirements. There isn’t much time between a program being created and aired but within this duration the data (program) has to reach the uplinking site. We had to build network redundancy so that it reaches on time.

Q: Are you looking towards cloud computing as a solution to your storage woes?
A: With HD storage requirements skyrocket. That's why our HD data is stored by our outsourced partner at an outsourced datacenter in a private cloud and a backup is archived within our organization.

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