Cable TV

DAS crosses 100% six weeks after analogue switch-off, but many homes still do not have STBs

NEW DELHI: The digitisation level in the 38 cities in fourteen states and one union territory of Phase II had touched 101 per cent including DTH homes as on 14 May, six weeks after the analogue switchoff.

However according to the information & broadcasting ministry's own statistics, around nineteen cities had not been fully digitised as on 7 May.

Questioned about this anomaly, an I&B Ministry official told that the average was based on the fact that nineteen cities had crossed more than a 100 per cent seeding of set top boxes, with Hyderabad touching a figure of 206.18 per cent with cities like Ludhiana and Allahabad crossing 178 per cent and 167.04 per cent respectively.

The official - who did not want to be named - added that this was because many of the households had more than one television and/or DTH connection, and the ministry had made a provision of 20 per cent TVs in shops and homes.

The official clarified that a total of 1,60,13,059 total TV homes had to be digitised by making provision of 20 per cent for multiple TVs in houses and TVs in offices/shops. The total number of TV Households according to ministry statistics is 1,33,44,216.

Coimbatore with 30.43 per cent stood at the bottom on 7 May, with Srinagar at 30.88 per cent, and Vishakhapatnam at 54.36 per cent. These figures include direct-to-home connections. It is therefore obvious fom these figures revealed by the government itself that a large proportion of TV subscribers in these 19 cities do not have either a DTH set top box or a cable TV set top box.

Petitions challenging digitisation are currently pending in the Madras, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh high courts. These affect the cities of Chennai, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam Bhopal, Indore, and Jabalpur.

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