It's being called a big leap for the Indian television industry, albeit with some voices of dissent. The bottom line, however, is that television screens will go blank across the four metros if households do not install a digital set-top box within the next three days.
The government has said it wouldn't extend its October 31 deadline by which all cable TV subscribers would have to compulsorily switch to a digital platform, as required by law.
"We are making good progress. People unwilling to make the switch can still opt for direct-to-air Doordarshan, which will remain free," information and broadcasting secretary Uday Kumar Varma told Hindustan Times.
In Mumbai, more than 99% of households have made the switch so far, followed by Kolkata at 80%, while Delhi and Chennai are at 83% and 61%,.
In December 2011, Parliament passed a Bill to digitize the cable-television sector in India by 2014. The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Bill 2011 provides for compulsory digitization and use of standard signal-receiving equipment. The move was prompted by, among other issues, largescale under-reporting of subscribers by cable distributors, which ultimately impact government revenue.