The bit about cable TV in India now prepping for a massive transformation is no news; and that it is reaching homes across Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai by the 30th of next month is being reiterated by all channels, over the past few weeks. Now, speaking at a forum on ‘Cable Digitization – a positive change for the consumer,’ Mr. K Jayaraman, MD & CEO of Hathway Cable and Datacom Ltd assured viewers across the table of not only the need for Digitization of their good ol’ cable TV, but also how the whole situation is a winning one for all, especially the end user. Jayaraman, in an official statement was quoted as saying,” The overall objective of digitization is to expose viewers to an experience that is imaginative. Digital cable services will invariably give them the opportunity to resolve some of the issues they have faced with legacy analog cable systems. It will also provide a bonanza for consumers in terms of picture quality, access to a wide range of channels and freedom of choice. Customers would certainly benefit given that they would now be able to choose from nearly 500 channels. The only additional investment that they would need to make is buying a set-top-box, the cost of which is already subsidized.”
A win-win situation for all..
Cable TV digitization in essence puts an end to the rather lengthy run of analog cable in our country, and will set in place a TV viewing experience defined entirely by digital cable. This massive transformation came at the end of what has been an amendment to Section 4A of the Cable Regulation Act, 1995. The amended act now paves the way for the compulsory implementation of mandatory addressable digitization (MAD). The new ruling essentially implies that all cable operators will have to, before their aforementioned deadlines switch the signals that they transmit, to digital, instead of the earlier analog. Those users subscribing to cable operators who do not comply with the new rules (i.e. switching over to digital signals) will not be able to view any of their TV programmes, post the scheduled deadline.
In a report sometime back, it was affirmed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India that the June 30th deadline to bring in the first phase of digitization across homes in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai was very much on track. and also ended up revealing that they have ordered for a whopping 10 million set-top boxes to carry out the transition. "We are already in the first phase of digitization which will be beneficial for all stakeholders and we are taking all necessary measures to create awareness with audiences to cooperate with us in meeting the set deadline," added Jayaraman.