Cable TV digitisation fails to identify no of viewers: Report
Cable TV digitisation fails to identify no of viewers: Report
New Delhi: Digitisation of cable television in India has been unable to achieve the desired result of identifying actual number of viewers with local operators not following a key step of filling cable access form (CAF), according to a study by consulting firm Deloitte. 
The cable operators, in a haste to install STBs (set top boxes) have overlooked a crucial step that of filling in the cable access form (CAF) before it, the report said. 
"The purpose behind mandating digital addressable system was to identify the actual number of cable viewers of the country. But with most customers not filling in the form, the purpose remains defeated," it added. 
The report published in association with industry chamber Assocham added that due to delay in implementation has not brought the desired result to the stakeholders. 
"The delay in implementation of the various phases of the digitisation has meant the promised jump in the subscription revenue and average revenue per user has not materialised," it added. 
Even a year after of implementing digitisation in major cities, the cable and broadcast sector is still trying to 'iron out the creases and get system in place'. 
Moreover, the report also raised questions over the quality of STBs installed by cable service providers. 
"People in the city are complaining about STBs installed in their residences and commercial organisations. Visual and sound disturbances coupled with channels going off air from time to time have left viewers unhappy," the report added. 
Although, the government is now going for the last two phases of digitisation, "lead time for delivery of STBs still remains a challenge". 
Last week, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar had met Indian manufacturers to produce STBs to meet the growing demand and sought their suggestions to take the indigenisation process forward. 
The government has already completed the second phase of digitisation, which involved digitising 1.6 crore cable TV houses in 38 cities by April 1, 2013. 
The third phase of digitisation has to be implemented in all other urban areas (municipal corporations/ municipalities) except cities or towns or areas included in Phase I and II, by September 30, 2014. The rest of the country will be covered under Phase IV of digitisation by December 31, 2014. 
According to estimates, about 14 crore STBs would be needed to complete the final phases of digitisation drive in tier II and III towns.
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