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Prasar Bharati, IIT-Kanpur to collaborate on NextGen broadcasting technology

As a follow up to the Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, signed between Prasar Bharati, India’s Public Service Broadcaster and the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur), a Center of Excellence for Media and Broadcasting Technologies will be established at IIT Kanpur.

Subsequent to the collaboration agreement, three areas have been identified to be taken up under the aegis of the Center of Excellence – Direct to Mobile Broadcasting and Convergence with emerging 5G standards, Artificial Intelligence and advanced algorithms for audio-visual media. The following research projects will be taken up by IIT Kanpur in these three areas leveraging funding provided by Prasar Bharati :

  • Next Generation Broadcast Technology Trial (Direct to Mobile Broadcasting, Convergence with 5G)
  • Automatic Speech Recognition for Speech Subtitling (Making Broadcast Content in various Indian Languages Accessible)
  • Archival Content Retrieval through Audio and Text Query

With content consumption in India increasingly shifting to smartphones and video consumption becoming the key driver of mobile data growth in India, it becomes imperative to bring direct broadcasting capabilities to mobile phones.

It is anticipated that broadcast capable smartphones and mobile phones will be able to stream multiple high-quality video/audio services optimally utilizing valuable spectrum and easing the burden on cellular networks. Prasar Bharati and IIT Kanpur will explore the development of direct to mobile broadcasting capabilities with an aim to align these emerging technologies with the global standards for 5G.

India as the largest open markets for digital video content and smartphones will benefit immensely from the indigenous development of converged 5G standards for direct to mobile broadcasting paving the way for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In a future scenario where both audio and video broadcast content can be directly delivered to smartphones and mobile-phones over a common broadcast infrastructure, India will also be able to establish global leadership in convergence between Radio and Television broadcasting.

“With audiences increasingly shifting away from traditional broadcasting to OTT platforms and audio-video content consumption over mobile data, it is critical for the Public Broadcaster to be able to reach audiences directly on their mobile phones, smartphones and other smart devices. We see this research collaboration with IIT Kanpur as critical to the development of an indigenous technology ecosystem for Direct to Mobile Broadcasting. We also look forward to India specific standards for 5G Broadcasting to emerge from this technology trial. I am thankful to the Prasar Bharati Board for according its approval to this Center of Excellence. I am also thankful to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting for its continued support to Prasar Bharati as we modernize our broadcasting infrastructure and take efforts towards realizing the Prime Minister’s vision for an AaatmaNirbhar Bharat” said CEO Prasar Bharati Shashi Shekhar Vempati.

“We are excited to work with Prasar Bharati in emerging technologies for broadcasting. The Direct to Mobile converged platform trial will enable the transition to the next generation technology deployment. The development of technologies  such as automatic speech recognition for subtitling and archival content retrieval through audio and text query have significant potential of making broadcast content available in various Indian languages. We are grateful to Prasar Bharati for funding these projects towards collaborative translational research for developing indigenous eco-system” said Professor Abhay Karandikar, Director IIT Kanpur.

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