6m STBs still needed for India’s 2nd stage

India´s ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) says that 5.9 million analogue TV homes are yet to install STBs in 38 cities covered under Phase II of its digitisation process.  Digitisation in these cities as of March 20th has reached 65 per cent of homes out of which 26.24 per cent of homes are covered by DTH satellite transmission.  The I&B ministry statistics states that out of 16.01 million TV homes, a total of 6.21 million homes have received cable STBs while 4.2 million have been installed with DTH boxes.

Deployment of STBs has exceeded 100 per cent in cities like Ludhiana with 173.68 per cent achievement, Hyderabad with 127.79 per cent and Chandigarh reported 106.53 per cent digitisation.  However, other states, like Visakhapatnam, registered less than 7 per cent STB installation so far.

Lower responses from a few cities are blamed on a reluctance from consumers and shortage of suitable – which means inexpensive – converter boxes.

The local operators are not at all confident of meeting the I&B’s March 31st digitisation deadline. The ministry has set up centralized monitoring system for checking the progress of digitisation and to ensure mandatory adherence of transmitting digital encrypted signals by MSOs.

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