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Cable Technology Feature Article

April 01, 2013

Indian Cable Companies Finalizing Move to Mandatory Digital TV

By Oliver VanDervoort, Contributing Writer

The deadline for cable television customers in India to go digital was Easter Sunday. Despite that fact, a new survey found that with just eight days until the March 31 date, more than 60 percent of subscribers still weren’t using a set top box. Some of those people were simply illustrating that they weren’t willing to pay the exorbitant rates that have popped up from cable providers over the last few years. Others were simply unaware that such a deadline existed. Whatever the reason, the massive number of people who haven’t taken the steps to go digital is going to cause some real problems for the television industry.

Cable companies do know that the problem isn’t that there is a shortage of digital boxes. Companies across the country have taken steps to try and get customers to understand that there are plenty of digital boxes available and that they simply need to come in and get one in order to make the transition.

This move to digital is one that the United States has already made and it appears that other companies across the world are trying to make that move as well. Whether or not the transition goes as smoothly as it did in the United States is still anybody’s guess. It appears that companies are a bit concerned as well, thinking that they could actually lose a little money with the move to set top boxes. Officials for the agency that is overseeing this transition had to explain to member companies that there wouldn’t be a financial loss if they switched over.

One of the ways that the government could assure its citizens that the move to digital set top boxes won’t be killing them in the wallet is by regulating the price of STBs said Sudhakar Velankar. "Escalation of STB prices cannot be ruled out in the coming days as demand is set to go up. The customers should be able to purchase STBs at reasonable prices. It is the government's responsibility to regulate the prices," he said.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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