Technology

Analogue consumers prefer moving to digital cable over DTH in 4 metros: TAM Study

MUMBAI: Digital cable TV seems to be winning over direct-to-home (DTH) in this first round of digitisation covering the four metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.


The share of DTH in total digital cable TV homes has slipped in Mumbai and Kolkata as consumers of analogue cable convert to digital ahead of the 1 November digitisation deadline.


This is the finding of a study conducted by TAM Media Research to capture the changing digitisation scenario in the four metropolitan cities.
 
According to the study, the share of DTH in total digital TV homes in Mumbai dropped to 34 per cent in June 2012 from 38 per cent in January 2012 and in Kolkata to 29 per cent from 48 per cent.


The share of digital cable TV homes has remained flat in Delhi (40 per cent) and Chennai (26 per cent). The fall in the proportion of DTH homes in Kolkata was steep as the share of digital cable TV homes rose by a sharp 18 per cent in the eastern city.


Among digital TV homes, DTH was a dominant platform in Delhi (with 60 per cent share) and Chennai (with 74 per cent share). DTH‘s share in Mumbai was 34 per cent and in Kolkata 30 per cent. This scenario is likely to change.


The study suggests that most of the cable TV homes which are still hooked on to analogue cable TV prefer or would prefer to continue with the services of their local cable operator when they shift to digital cable TV services. The study reveals that the percentage of analogue homes which intend to shift to digital cable TV is overwhelming led by Mumbai (92 per cent), Kolkata (89 per cent), Chennai (84 per cent) and Delhi (81 per cent).


The four metros selected for the study are the cities chosen by the government for phasing out analogue cable TV services. All television homes are now mandated to shift to digital TV, either via DTH connections or through digital set-top boxes (STBs) provided by local cable operators (LCOs) by 1 November.


The government had to extend the deadline by four months as majority of homes have still not shifted to either of the digital platforms.


According to the monthly study based on a sample size of 4,600 homes, Mumbai leads in terms of digital penetration with 33 per cent of the homes having digital TV connections (as of June 2012), followed by Kolkata (25 per cent), Delhi (24 per cent) and Chennai (20 per cent).


The Information and Broadcasting ministry stated in early August that Mumbai looked the most prepared with 50 per cent of cable TV homes already having digital STB installations. But Delhi and Kolkata seemed to be struggling with the rate of STB installations around 25 per cent while Chennai lagged way behind.
 
According to the TAM study, digitisation in Mumbai and Kolkata was across all SECs (socio-economic classifications) but the interest was less in SEC D&E homes in Delhi and Chennai.


Among the multi TV homes in all metro cities, the digital TV penetration is high. The share of digital connections in multi TV homes was the highest in Mumbai (about 52 per cent), followed by Chennai (about 48 per cent), Kolkata (40 per cent) and Delhi (35 per cent).


The medium that played a big role in creating awareness about the requirement for shifting to digital was television itself. The other source was newspapers and friends.
 

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