Hathway to target top 25% of its cable TV base for OTT, hybrid cable STBs

MUMBAI: Multi system operator (MSO) Hathway Cable and Datacom is targetting top 25% of its cable TV universe for its newly launched over the top (OTT) and hybrid cable set top box (STB).

The OTT STB Hathway Play is based on Google’s Android TV platform and is priced at Rs 2999. It will carry a dedicated YouTube, Netflix and Google Play button on the remote control, giving the ability to consumers to access their favorite show with a simple click on the big screen.

Hathway Play will also allow consumers to use Google assistant through a simple voice remote for applications such as finding their favorite web series, setting timers, answering questions, weather forecast and even placing e-commerce orders.

It also has an inbuilt chrome cast which allows you to mirror content from your phone to TV. Just at the tap of Cast button on your mobile app, it allows you to mirror movies & TV shows, music, games, sports and more – from Android, iOS, Mac, Windows to your TV.

The hybrid STB Hathway Ultra Smart HUB, which is based on Android Platform, combines linear TV with Play services in HDR quality.

Hathway Digital, the cable TV subsidiary of Hathway, had 7.2 million digital cable customers as on 30 June.

Hathway Cable and Datacom MD Rajan Gupta said that the product will launch in 15 days through partnership with local cable operators (LCOs). Consumer bookings will start on 1 November and the installation will begin by the end of the month.

The company is expecting a sale of 100,000 STBs each month and the expectation is that 80% of sales will happen as a result of upgradation of STBs from existing consumers. A multimedia marketing campaign will be launched to promote Hathway Play.

Gupta noted that the product was the result of 12 months of work. He noted that on the technology front many people have moved from CRT TV sets to LEDs and LCDs.

“Consumers regardless of where they are paying the same price for a channel. Through this box, we can segment consumers and they can give us much higher ARPUs,” said Gupta.

The company is also eyeing partnerships with OTT platforms for the Hathway Play box.

Talking about the Hybrid cable STB, Gupta said that the Ultra Smart TV Hub simplifies the user experience for customers that increasingly combine their linear tv-viewing with on-demand and streaming services. The user can select and download more than 2,000 apps from Google Play, including play services, games, and music.

“When we developed Ultra Smart Hub, the most important aspect has been listening to our customers to understand their needs regarding their tv-viewing. We see a clear shift in consumption in content today compared to earlier. Indian consumers today want a mix of traditional linear television viewing combined with on-demand or streaming services. With the Smart Hub we have a product that meets their expectations,” he noted.

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