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68% Cable TV digitisation achieved in 4 metros

I&B Ministry monitors progress of digitisation, launches campaign in print and electronic media as further extension of October 31, 2012 deadline is ruled out

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | September 18, 2012

A recent review of the progress towards digitisation by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has shown that 68 per cent of Cable TV digitisation has already been achieved in the four metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.

The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act 2011 has made it mandatory for switchover of the existing Analogue Cable Television Network to Digital Addressable System (DAS) by December 2014 in the entire country in four phases. In the first phase,the four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai are to be covered by October 31, 2012.

The ministry has been constantly reviewing the preparedness of the industry for the digital switchover.  Installation of set top boxes (STBs) in Cable TV homes is one of the most crucial pre-conditions of the switchover. The review of the data has been done by taking into consideration the Census data of 2011 with respect to total households, TV penetration, households having television sets. The data has been further corroborated with the data received from the Multi System Operators and DTH operators.

Taking into consideration that the TV penetration is about 80 per cent on an average in the four metro cities, and there are 25.59 lakh DTH subscribers and  46.71 lakh STBs have already been installed, the percentage of digitisation in the four metros is 68 per cent. This includes 20 per cent provision for multiple TVs in homes and TVs in offices. City-wise data show that digitization in Mumbai is 95 per cent, Kolkata 67 per cent, Delhi 53 per cent, and Chennai 49 per cent.

According to Census 2011, there are 103.76 lakh households in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. TV penetration in four metros is 80 per cent as per the Census. Thus, 82.59 lakh households have TV sets in these metros. Out of 82.59 lakh TV households, 25.59 lakh households have DTH connection. Adding 20 per cent provision for multiple TV homes and offices, a total of 68.4 lakh cable subscribers need to get STBs in the four metros. Out of these, 46.71 lakh households have already installed cable STBs. Thus, 68 per cent of the TV households in the four metro cities have already become digital. The percentage achievement of digitisation goes up to 77 per cent if DTH figure of 25.59 lakh is added.

MIB has also launched a publicity campaign in the electronic and print media to take awareness to the door steps of people.  A print ad was launched recently in all the major English dailies as well as Marathi, Bengali and Tamil dailies, informing people about the urgency to get STBs as well as benefits of digitisation. The ministry has already launched three video spots which are now being shown on News channels, General Entertainment channels and Regional channels. Three radio spots are also on air. AIR is broadcasting these spots eight times daily on its various channels like FM Gold, FM Rainbow, Rajdhani and Indraparastha channels. The spots are also being broadcast in various regional languages. Private FM broadcasters have also been airing the radio spots in the four metro cities.

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