Cable set to become history, digital television gets on to fast track
After a tough day at work, Surinder Negi looks forward to a Hindi potboiler on TV. A driver for a government official, Negi is also looking forward to an enhanced TV viewing experience from November 1.delhi Updated: Sep 18, 2012 01:20 IST
After a tough day at work, Surinder Negi looks forward to a Hindi potboiler on TV. A driver for a government official, Negi is also looking forward to an enhanced TV viewing experience from November 1.
"Now that I have a set-top box (STB), I can relax without worrying of a blackout," he said. His wife is also happy she can watch her saas-bahu serials uninterrupted now.
Their only apprehension: they have not been able to work out exactly how much they will have to shell out in the new system. "But I hope it doesn't drastically alter our budget," murmurs Negi, voicing an apprehension shared by many.
The Negis bought the STB for R800 from the local cable operator with the remaining amount to be paid in installments.Cable operators who use the analog platform charge a flat rate ranging Rs. 125-300 for all customers for a single package of less than 90 channels, a far cry from digital cables that can carry up to 1,000 channels.
Concerns within the information and broadcasting ministry over whether the extended October 30, 2012, deadline for the digitalisation in the four metros can be met are slowy giving way to hope.
About 12.5 million STBs are needed just for the four metros.
Latest I&B ministry figures say that about 68% of the total STBs required have been installed in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. This figure shoots up to 77% if DTH figures are taken into consideration.
The government plans to digitalize the entire country by December 31, 2014, which essentially entails a switchover from an analog system to a digital one.
A 80-country study by Digital TV Research says India will have the second-largest digital TV subscribers by 2017 at 145 million, next only to China at 315 million.