Television

WWIL announces Rs 1800 package for Cas

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NEW DELHI: Wire & Wireless India Ltd has come out with a price package that it believes will lure consumers to digital cable under Cas (conditional access system).

The multi-system operator (MSO) is offering an own-your-own set-top box (STB) plus a year long access to at least 100 channels, a minimum of 25 of them being pay channels, for just Rs 1800. This scheme will be available only for those who are subscribing within 31 January, says WWIL CEO Jagjit Kohli.

For those willing to settle for just the service of 100 channels, but not own the boxes, the option is to go for the Rs 600 per annum (Rs 50 per month) scheme. Rental on the boxes will be an additional cost.

Consumers in both the schemes will have to pay taxes and Rs 77 for the free-to-air (FTA) channels.

The bouquet, however, does not have any of the sports channels. For access to any additional pay channel the subscribers would have to pay the Trai-fixed charge of Rs 5. WWIL executive vice president Arvind Mohan of Siticable told indiantelevision.com that not even Ten Sports would shown as part of the Rs 600 bouquet.

Asked how many of Star, Set and Zee channels respectively would form the bouquet, Mohan said that the details were being worked out.

WWIL is also immediately launching its Cas-enabled GalaxZee boxes in non-Cas cities.

"There is a feeling that the analogue will stay for a long time in India. The popular perception is that India being a poor country and technologically backward, so digital would take a long time to take off. But even we are surprised to see at what massive pace digital is taking off in the country," Kohli said.

Bangalore, Hyderabad and other cities are witnessing the highest demand for digital services, he added. In these cities, physical headends would be set up for the box operations even before HITS arrives.

The special GalaxZee STBs have on offer various facilities, apart from the normal TV services, and updated boxes with facilities matching those offered by any DTH service provider. The updated boxes would cost Rs 1,499, but the customer can exchange the old boxes for the new paying the additional cost of Rs 299.

GalaxZee is using digital technology of Scopus for its digital headends, encryption technology from Conax and STB from Handan.

"We are aware that the average Indian user is not tech-savvy, so we told the architects of the boxes to make them user-friendly," Kohli said.

It is much cheaper than the DTH boxes, he stressed and added: "Whatever channels DTH operators offer are fixed for across the country. We, however, have the option of adding whatever channels we want to depending on which city we are operating in, especially the popular regional language channels and also the local cable channels. And even the local channels would be digital."

Besides, for multiple TV sets in one household, GalaxZee is offering FTA in all the additional sets at no extra cost, "but in DTH system you would have to pay for every additional TV set".

The value added boxes, which are likely to come after a few months, will have internet, online games and phone on demand. GalaxZee will also offer DVR (digital video recording).

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