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Viewers hook on to alternatives

FLUSTERED BY repeated cable connection blackouts, citizens have now started looking for alternatives for infotainment through television. Many of them are opting for Direct to Home (DTH) system, even though it is quite a poorly assembled package offering few popular channel choices.

india Updated: May 29, 2006 20:03 IST
Anil Dubey

FLUSTERED BY repeated cable connection blackouts, citizens have now started looking for alternatives for infotainment through television. Many of them are opting for Direct to Home (DTH) system, even though it is quite a poorly assembled package offering few popular channel choices.

In the wake of the ongoing cable blackout, the demand for DTH has spiraled manifold, so much so that consumers have to bear with a waiting period of two to three days to get the system installed.

The cable war has resulted in large-scale cable cutting for the second time during the past couple of months. This time, the blackout has stretched longer as cable services could not be restored even after a week.

“We are unable to meet the sudden demand for DTH systems. So, there is a wait for the system as the company’s men can install only two-three systems in a day” said SS Bansal of Manglam, Roshanpura.

The demand of DTH has gone up in all parts of the City. Radheshyam Gupta of Garg Traders, BHEL also said the demand had gone up two to three times following repeated cable cutting. This, despite the poor bouquet of the present DTH system available in the City.

Only a few popular channels are available with these bouquets. At present, Zee TV’s dish DTH system and DD’s DTH system are available.

The number of consumers of Zee TV’s DTH system is higher at present. Popular channels of Star TV like Star Plus, Star One and Sony TV are not available with these packages.

But, citizens are opting for the DTH due to repeated problems being created by multi system operators (MSOs) and cable operators.

At present, DD’s DTH is roping in about 33 TV and a dozen radio channels while Dish TV is providing about 100 channels through its different bouquets having different rates. DTH services of Star-TATA joint venture will soon be available in the market, traders said. Besides, the Essel group and Shyam Communications are also launching another DTH service. So, people will have more choices as far as DTH is concerned.

Cable operators also believe that DTH has not only being harming their business but at the same time the MSOs would not longer be enjoying their present status. “The MSOs and cable operators should work in tandem so that challenge of DTH could not harm our interests. So, the people in cable business should become cautious now or be ready to face the consequences,” said a cable operator.

Video libraries make hay
THE NUMBER of customers at video CD libraries situated in different parts of the City has increased following the weeklong cable TV blackout in the State capital. Some of the library owners are providing CDs on the hourly basis to get maximum returns.

Some people are purchasing new CDs because pirated versions of movie CDs are available at lower rates. The pirated CDs of new pictures could be purchased for Rs 20 to Rs 30 per movie. But people are dependent on such libraries to get good quality CDs.