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India digitisation continues to slip

India, which has managed to miss just about every one of its self-imposed targets to switch off analogue transmission and to convert the population’s TV viewing to digital broadcasting, has hit the buffers again.

This time it is a “dire shortage” of set-top boxes. India’s latest absolute cut-off date for the balance of homes to be digitised is December 31st this year.

But according to a report in Indiantelevision.com, which quotes an India Information & Broadcasting Ministry source, “few [local] manufacturers were coming forward with proposals”.

India has just held its 10th Task Force meeting on its Digital Addressable System (DAS) scheme, where it was decided to set up twelve Regional Units to monitor progress – or the lack of – across the nation of the analogue conversion process.

The Task Force meeting seemed to be a litany of failure, with comments from the Maharashtra Cable Operators’ Federation (MCOF) being typical. MCOF told the meeting that there are some 5000 head-end owners in the state, but “many of them had not applied for registration” meaning that there was a high risk that regions would be dark as far as cable-delivered TV signals were concerned on Jan 1st 2016.

On the positive side, India’s Doordarshan public broadcaster and All India Radio have started carry publicity about the impending switch-off. Media regulator TRAI is also preparing a newspaper advertising campaign talking about the change-over.

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