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Sun sets on analogue cable, as urban areas to be digital from Jan 1, 2016

The cut-off date with respect to phase-III, which covers remaining urban areas, is December 31, 2015, after which no analogue signal transmission or re-transmission of TV channels is permitted by law

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | December 9, 2015

tv-channelsThe cut-off date for phase III of digitisation of cable TV services is drawing near when parts of urban India which were not covered in the first two phases will all get the benefits of digital cable TV services.

The country has more than 100 million cable TV subscribers. The digitization of cable TV services is under way in a phased manner in 4 phases.

The consumers of 4 metros and 38 cities who were covered under phase-I & II of digitisation are getting the benefits of Digital Cable TV services. The cut-off date with respect to phase-III, which covers remaining urban areas, is December 31, 2015, after which no analogue signal transmission or re-transmission of TV channels is permitted by the law. The list of urban areas, covered under phase-III of digitalisation, is available on the website of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (www.mib.nic.in).

The digital cable TV services (DAS) have distinct advantages over analogue cable TV services as it can carry a large number of TV channels with better picture quality and sound for all the channels. The consumer can choose channels of their choice and accordingly budget their expenses. For availing digital cable TV services, a consumer is required to install a set top box at his/her premises. The STBs can be availed on rental/hire-purchase/outright purchase basis. The consumer has an option to choose any scheme out of many offered by the service provider.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been taking steps for creating awareness amongst consumers and stakeholders by holding workshops and consumer outreach programmes, about the implementation of DAS. TRAI held a meeting with major stakeholders of the broadcasting and cable TV sector on December 1, 2015 to take stock of the situation on the ground regarding implementation of DAS in phase III areas. TRAI noted that, progress of seeding STBs in DAS Phase-III notified areas was satisfactory and good numbers of customers were getting the benefits of digitalisation. The broadcasters, DTH operators and MSOs were asked to carry out exhaustive consumer awareness programmes about digitisation of cable TV services so that remaining urban areas customers were able to install STBs before cut- off date of December 31, 2015.Broadcasters of TV channels have been asked to send advance intimation, by December 7, 2015, to the cable operators about non- availability of TV channels for retransmission in analogue mode to the consumers from January 1, 2016.

Consumers of urban areas who are still receiving cable TV services without STBs are advised to avail and install STBs before cut- off date in order to receive uninterrupted TV services.

The roadmap for digitisation is given below:

Phase Areas Sunset date for analog Cable TV
Phase –I Four Metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai 31.10.2012
Phase –II Cities with a population more than one million (38 cities) 31.03.2013
Phase –III All Other Urban areas (Municipal Corporation/ Municipalities) except cities /towns/areas specified for corresponding Phase-I and Phase-II. 31.12.2015
Phase –IV Rest of India 31.12.2016

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