Cable TV

GTPL-KCBPL increases HD channels to 32; to go off free model

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KOLKATA: Kolkata-based multi-system operator (MSO) GTPL-KCBPL, which was offering around 22 High Definition (HD) channels, has increased the offering to 32 channels now. The company, which is airing these HD channels for free now, is looking at charging its 15,000 customers either towards the end of March or in the beginning of the next fiscal (2015-16).

GTPL- KCBPL managing director Bijoy Kumar Agarwal told Indiantelevision.com that the channels launched by the MSO are Star Sports 3HD, Star Ports 4HD, Animal Planet HD, Sony HD, Sony Six HD, Sony Pix HD, &Pictures HD and TLC World HD.

High definition is a different standard of digital television broadcasting, which offers sharper, more detailed pictures and surround sound. Only viewers with an "HD Ready" television set, a special HD set top box receiver and reception of a high definition service will experience true HD programming. High definition programmes are also specially shot.

In 2005, a group of 160 cable operators in a unique manner turned themselves into shareholders and made KCBPL a successful MSO in Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA). While in the year 2010, KCBPL entered into a joint venture with GTPL, which has enabled this new entity to gain strong foothold in the state of West Bengal.

At present the company has more than five lakh set top boxes (STBs) seeded in West Bengal. “We are also betting on increasing the HD boxes from 15,000 currently installed by us,” Agarwal said.

According to Agarwal, there is a lot of scope of increasing HD boxes in certain pockets of the city. “Digitisation of television industry has always been at the centre of our strategies,” he added.

The company’s technology partners include Cisco, Skyworth, Nagravision, Newland and Magnaquest amongst others. “We are in touch with our partners on a regular basis so we can always update and offer latest technology to our customers,” he said.

“After the rollout of digitisation in KMA, which is in first and second phase of digitisation drive, we believe, our partners and viewers stand to benefit from more opportunities, products and value. We are soon going to roll out broadband services in KMA to begin with, which will create more opportunities for our business partners and at the same time with state of the art technologies we will be bringing the best of the services,” he concluded.

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