Go­ing Dig­i­tal

Consumer Voice - - This Is It -

In CAS-no­ti­fied area, the free-to-air (FTA) chan­nels are car­ried over the net­work in ana­log form, while the pay chan­nels are car­ried in en­crypted and dig­i­tally mod­u­lated form, for which a STB is re­quired.

Yet an­other decade went by and in Novem­ber 2011, the min­istry of in­for­ma­tion and broad­cast­ing is­sued a no­ti­fi­ca­tion, set­ting 31 March 2015 as the dead­line for com­plete shift from ana­logue to dig­i­tal ad­dress­able ca­ble TV sys­tems (DAS). Par­lia­ment passed The Ca­ble Tele­vi­sion Net­works (Reg­u­la­tion) Amend­ment Act to dig­i­tize the ca­ble tele­vi­sion sec­tor. Chen­nai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai had to switch by 31 Oc­to­ber 2012. The sec­ond phase of 38 cities, in­clud­ing Ben­galuru, Chandigarh, Nag­pur, Patna and Pune, was to switch by 31 March 2013. The re­main­ing ur­ban ar­eas were to dig­i­tize by 30 Novem­ber 2014 and the rest of the coun­try by 31 March 2015. Here is an at­tempt to an­swer most ques­tions that you would have on DAS. What is dig­i­tal ad­dress­able ca­ble TV sys­tem (DAS)? DAS is a ca­ble TV ser­vice in which TV chan­nels are sent through ca­ble TV net­work in dig­i­tal and en­crypted form. Only au­tho­rized users can re­ceive chan­nels us­ing a set-top box (STB) and a TV set. The au­tho­riza­tion is given by the ser­vice provider.

This sys­tem is able to carry a large num­ber of TV chan­nels, ra­dio ser­vices and other value-added

The multi-sys­tem op­er­a­tor (MSO) and their linked lo­cal ca­ble op­er­a­tors (LCOs) are the ser­vice providers in DAS. How is DAS dif­fer­ent from the ex­ist­ing ca­ble TV sys­tem? The ex­ist­ing ca­ble TV sys­tem is pre­dom­i­nately ana­log in na­ture. In case of ana­log ca­ble TV sys­tem, the TV chan­nels are sent in ana­log and un­en­crypted form. The ana­log ca­ble TV sys­tem can carry up to 80 to 100 TV chan­nels. In this sys­tem, con­sumers do not have the op­tion to choose chan­nels/ser­vices of their choice and pay ac­cord­ingly; rather, they have to pay for the en­tire bou­quet of chan­nels of­fered by the ca­ble op­er­a­tor.

On the other hand, the ca­pac­ity of a DAS is much higher than the ex­ist­ing ana­log ca­ble TV sys­tem. A con­sumer un­der DAS will be able to choose chan­nels/ ser­vices of their choice and pay ac­cord­ingly. A set-top box is re­quired along with the TV set for re­ceiv­ing the chan­nels in DAS. What are the ad­van­tages of DAS for con­sumers? Con­sumer will get bet­ter-qual­ity sig­nal for all the chan­nels. Con­sumer will get more choice of chan­nels. DAS sup­ports HD and 3D chan­nels. Con­sumer can choose the chan­nels on à-la-carte (in­di­vid­ual) ba­sis and pay only for the chan­nels cho­sen. DAS of­fers value-added ser­vices – triple play with broad­band, movie on de­mand, etc. Elec­tronic pro­gramme guide (EPG) can be pro­vided in DAS, which makes it pos­si­ble for the con­sumer to se­lect a par­tic­u­lar chan­nel or ser­vice in a sim­ple user-friendly man­ner. Th­ese fea­tures pro­vide a much im­proved view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to the con­sumer. What is the monthly charge that a con­sumer has to pay for avail­ing ser­vices in DAS? The monthly charge de­pends upon the pack­age/ bou­quet/chan­nels/ser­vices cho­sen by the con­sumer. The con­sumers of DAS can choose a pack­age of one or more pay chan­nel, only FTA chan­nels, only pay

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