Consumers with set top boxes might also face blackout

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 01, 2012 05:48 hrs

Mumbai: With barely few hours left for the cable TV digitisation deadline to end, consumers here who have already installed set-top boxes may also face blackout of their television sets.

Speaking to reporters, Cable Operators Digitisation Committee Joint Convenor Milan Chatterjee said that while the implementation could be a law and order threat, "some cable operators may also stop signals to save their skins as 60 per cent of the people have not received STBs yet."

He said, "27 lakh homes are yet to be digitised. Only 35-40 per cent homes have received STBs. I have no answer for those who will question me ... we have given advance money to multi-system operators (MSOs) but still have not received delivery."

He said that government should have implemented it in phases, first implementing digitisation of niche channels, then paid channels followed by other channels. As per the data available with the Ministry, the digitisation process has reached 89 per cent so far, with Mumbai leading the pack with 113 per cent. Delhi was next with 89 per cent and Kolkata came behind at 82 per cent.

Chennai was still lagging behind at 62 per cent. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has threatened to launch an agitation if television transmission was blacked out after the October 31 deadline for digitisation and accused the Centre of trying to adopt a path of "confrontation" with the states on the issue.

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