Cable TV

TN advisory: LCO licences may be cancelled if they bully Arasu subs into buying STBs

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MUMBAI: A Tamil Nadu state advisory has informed subscribers of Arasu Cable not to pay money to the local cable operators (LCOs) for set-top boxes (STBs) which are actually being provided to all for free.

Arasu Cable, as per a state government statement, is the only state-owned undertaking in the country to offer free STBs combined with internet services and digital cable TV, and a three-year warranty.

Indiantelevision.com had reported that Arasu Cable (TACTV), which had early in September, claimed to have gone digital, was on 25 September asked to “confirm that you have already switched off analogue signals and are carrying only digital encrypted signals on your cable TV network.” In a letter to TACTV, sent by the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB), the multi-system operator (MSO) was asked to reply within 10 days of issuance of the letter, “failing which your registration is likely to be suspended/revoked.”

The state advisory, meantime, now has also cautioned subscribers of Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV) against buying the STB from private dealers, the Times of India reported. If the LCOs were found to be bullying subscribers into paying for STBs, their licence could be cancelled, the state government has warned.

The advisory has urged subscribers to report cases where LCOs had asked them to buy STBs from private dealers through the Arasu cable helpline.

The state government had, a month ago, begun distribution of free STBs among Arasu subscribers. Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had launched the service through the government-owned enterprise after inaugurating MPEG-4 upgraded control room for digital signal transmission.

Arasu's approximately 70 lakh subscribers would have access to around 180 channels in digital mode. There will be four packages with monthly subscription between Rs 125 and Rs 275 with option of both free and paid channels.

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