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Friday, May 17, 2002

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A tech boutique for digital era

V. Rishi Kumar


EVEN as the country is debating the larger policy issues of multiple and conditional access in the convergence era, a bunch of youngsters, who have formed a technology boutique, are gearing up to take on this digital technology challenge with embedded system solutions.

The founders of this firm specifically describe their outfit as a technology boutique for the digital era. The Director and Chief Operating Officer of Zintec Software, Mr Yogesh Shyam Maurya, told Business Line, ``we are a bunch of techies based in Holland and India whose job is focussed on developing solutions for the digital age, digital video broadcasting, broadcasting devices such as set-tp boxes and building various Internet applications. So far we have developed about five products including Open TV authoring software. The Government strategy to provide digital satellite access based on an open architecture is the best bet as it insulates the users from the problems of multiple technologies and higher expenditure.''

Focussing on solutions for the digital convergence era, particularly software for digital television sets and the set-top boxes, Zintec Software has positioned itself as an end-to-end solutions provider covering drivers, middleware and application software, Mr Maurya explained.

``Being a global solutions provider, our thrust is on overseas markets and with strategic arrangements with semiconductor major — Texas Instruments and Irdeto from where we source silicon, we are offering solutions across the world. As and when business from India opens up, we will leverage it for local markets too,'' Mr Maurya said.

Being an embedded technology company, Mr Maurya said, ``we have embarked on becoming a leading solutions provider for broadcast and information devices, aimed at helping clients create high quality, cost-effective, short time to market products.''

Mr Maurya said that in India set-top box was totally misunderstood. It is basically a medium to enjoy digital satellite telecast with a range of value added services such as interactive TV applications, audio on demand, video on demand, TV-commerce, voice over IP and video conferencing. In India, many have slotted it as a facility to browse the Web. This was fundamentally wrong.

Secondly, the issue is about analog and digital. Even though the analog signal is popular in mature economies, it is on the way out. The best option would be to directly go in for digital, he said.

With the Government confronted with various policy matters relating to direct-to-home, satellite-cable broadcast and terrestrial broadcast, the best way to go forward would be to look at open architecture which insulates users against the monopoly of a few players and also protects the interest of about 75,000 cable operators as one cannot wish them away, Mr Maurya said.

This embedded software development company, which has centres in Hyderabad, and offices in Holland and Taiwan, recently announced the launch of its Irdeto embedded digital television set-top boxes.

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