Ministry again puts off mandatory TV digitalisation news
21 June 2012

The long-delayed digitalisation of cable TV in the four major metropolitan cities has once again been put off, as the information & broadcasting ministry has found that most households are not yet ready to install the necessary set-top boxes.

The implementation of fully digitalised TV systems in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai was to have been completed by 1 July; it has now been put off till 1 November. Some pockets of Mumbai and the other metros were obliged to implement digitalisation several years ago in a move that was supposed to cover all major Indian cities.

However, it has not spread further. Most parts of the metros and smaller towns continue to thrive on analog signals, which though of poorer quality can be used on multiple TV sets without the need for set-top boxes. This is of considerable benefit to the poorer section of TV owners, as set-top boxes continue to remain expensive. It is also of benefit to establishments like hotels, which would find installing individual set-top boxes on each TV an expensive proposition.

"The ministry of information and broadcasting has decided to modify the 30 June deadline for a complete switch over to 31October 2012," a statement issued by the ministry on Wednesday said. "All the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) regulations for digital addressable system will come into effect from 1 November 2012."

It said that the assessment of ground realities had compelled the I&B ministry to set a new deadline, and this would now be monitored more vigorously.

STBs in each cable viewing household is a precondition for digitisation and as per official sources even a fortnight before the 30 June, it was estimated that only 30 per cent of households had acquired STBs.

 search domain-b
Ministry again puts off mandatory TV digitalisation