The end of the run of Analog cable in India is scheduled to be in a few months from now. An amendment to Section 4A of the Cable Regulation Act, 1995 has now made it compulsory to implement mandatory addressable digitization (MAD), in a phased manner, across the nation, starting June 30, 2012. What does this change in the current scenario? According to new rules, by the 30th of June, 2012, existing analog cable signals will be shut down, disabling your local cable operator from transmitting any analog signals. Users across the four metros, i.e. Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai will see their cable TV make a transition from analog to completely digital by the aforementioned deadline. However, consumers residing in cities, like Pune, Ahmedabad and Bangalore, where the size of the population exceedes 1 million, the shift will come in a little later, by March 2013. The deadline issued for switching over to digital cable in urban areas is September 30, 2014, while that for the entire country is by December 31, 2014.
Post June 30th, 2012 it'll all be gone!
Once the uniform roll-out starts taking place, users will not be able to view any of their TV programmes, unless, they've switched to digital signals. To facilitate this, users will need to set-up a set top box, which will “be decoding them in digital format. There will be no prime band after introduction of digitization. With digitization, the signals will be strong, as the set top box will be decoding the signals locally.” As per the official statement, the set top box of a digital cable is different from a DTH set top box in terms of the availability of several VAS. It states, “These value added services are not available with the digital cable services. The services provided by DTH companies are much more organized. There are many channels which are currently available only on DTH platform. With digitization, the subscribers will be able to enjoy high quality DTH services with good clarity and sound. They will be able to enjoy the minutest details of the program. As the industry is growing, there are significant new subscriber additions every month and the switch towards the High Definition mode is quite high.”
In an official statement from Videocon d2h, Mr. Saurabh Dhoot, Director – Videocon d2h states, “The DTH industry is growing rapidly and it is only set to spiral upwards in the next few years with the government announcement of obligatory digitization of satellite transmission. As all the consumers currently on analog transmission will have to shift to the digital space, this essentially would lead to huge growth in the sector. Videocon d2h is vying for a good portion of this ‘crossover pie’ to create a dominant position during this transition phase.“