Information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar has said the government could soon allow “inter-operability” in set-top boxes, which will let consumers change their service providers by just replacing the chip-enabled card instead of having to buy a new set-top box while changing service.
“Like portability of mobile phones, the viewers should also have similar options with the set-top boxes. They should be able to put in any card of choice (of service provider) on the set top box,” he said, chairing the first meeting of the task force for cable digitisation for phases three and four at Vigyan Bhavan on Wednesday.
The minister said his ministry would try to ensure the customer should get full benefits of digitisation with high quality services at affordable prices.
The minister also said the cap of 12 minutes for advertisement on free-to-air TV channels is likely to be removed.
He said the ad-cap imposed by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) last year was “right”, but while the pay channels earned enough revenue through subscription, the move was “restrictive” for free channels.
India has a total number 160 million TV households and the first and second phases of cable digitisation covered all the metros and 38 cities with a population of over one million. Javadekar said that Phase III would be over by end 2015 and Phase IV by 2016-end.