Cable TV

Silverline Television Network to seed 25 lakh DEN STBs in WB

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KOLKATA: West Bengal is embracing the digitisation process open heartedly. So while earlier the MSOs from the state got together to speed up the gross billing in the city, now Silverline Television Network (STN), which distributes the services of DEN Cable TV in West Bengal, plans to seed close to 25 lakh set top boxes (STBs) in the state by December, 2014 in Digital Addressable System (DAS) phase III and IV areas.

Silverline Television Network, a joint venture between DEN (51 per cent) and Silverline Broadband Services (49 per cent) was formed in 2011. STN has already installed four lakh STBs in the state in DAS Phase I and II with an investment of 150 crore. For the next installment, it has earmarked an investment of Rs 300 crore, which alongside the cost of the STBs, will also be used in increasing its network and fibre connectivity in the state.

“We have seeded 3.60 lakh STBs in the Kolkata Municipal Area area and another 40,000 in the rest of West Bengal including 24 North Parganas and Hooghly. In phase III and IV of digitisation, we plan to install approximately 25 lakh more set top boxes in the state. By December 2014, we want to reach the target of 30 lakh STB,” remarked STN director Apurba Banerjee optimistically as he spoke about strengthening its presence within the state. “Our connectivity has already reached Siliguri, Bankura, Raichak, Bangaon and a part of Diamond Harbour,” he added.

The company has one digital headend at present and offers 280 channels. When quizzed about the most popular package in phase I area, that is the KMC area, he said, the monthly subscription available at Rs 180 was quite popular initially. However, since TEN Sports wasn’t available in that, many switched to the Rs 230 monthly package.

The cable TV analysts say the Phase III and IV of DAS is going to be smoother and easier as consumers in smaller towns have already started enquiring about the STB. “Going forward, it will be a smooth journey for DEN to install 30 lakh STBs in West Bengal,” remarks an analyst.

DEN, a cable TV distribution company, reaches an estimated 13 million households in over 200 cities across 13 key states in India, like in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand among other markets. DEN Networks has seeded around 5 million set top boxes.

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