Nearly two million homes in the Kolkata city that currently view pay channels through conventional cable connections will have to shift to an alternative delivery platforms.
The new platforms include conditional access system (CAS), direct-to-home (DTH), head-end in the sky (HITS) or Internet protocol television (IPTV) in a couple of years. That’s the deadline watchdog agency Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has set for switch from analog to digital transmission.
“There is no option but to shift to digital transmission. Those who don’t will be driven out of business. If multi service operators don’t adopt CAS, they will be driven out of business by DTH, HITS and IPTV,” TRAI chairman Nripendra Mishra said.
At the subscriber end, a device like the set top box used in CAS and DTH is required to convert the digital signals to analog for viewing on conventional televisions. Only high definition televisions that comprise a minuscule fraction of television sets in the country is compatible to digital transmission and does not require a converter.
Till date, less than 5% of 2 million cable homes in the city have opted for either CAS or DTH. Numbers would have been higher but for the delay in roll-out of CAS beyond the first zone.