Remember a couple of years ago when broadcast TV switched over to digital? Of course you don’t. The transition went pretty smoothly for most people. If they already owned an HDTV, the receiver was built into the device. Buying one for older TVs was cheap and easy to install.
It should be no surprise that cable TV is following suit, entering the digital age and leaving analogue in the dust. The direct-to-home and multi-system operator (MSOs) industry are gearing up to meet the overwhelming demand for set-top boxes (STBs) which is expected to be around 90 lakh sets.
Like nearly everything Americans use, a large number of STBs are being imported from China, which poses some opposition for MSOs and DTH operators. At least the DTH industry has expressed confidence that they’ll meet STB demand in the given deadline, so the digitalization of cable television should go over as smoothly and inexpensively as it went for broadcast television.
Vikram Mehra, the chief marketing officer at Tata Sky, says the DTH industry has got all that it takes to cater for the customer during the digitization process.
Mehra claimed, "This technological edge will further be reinforced by the fact that best options can be made available to consumers as per their preferences.”
Other ends of the digital cable industry are optimistic about digitalization, some claiming that this improvement will allow cable TV providers to beam superior picture quality as provided by DTH operators. Nonetheless, cable operators are putting pressure on a deadline extension.
Roop Sharma, president of Cable Operators Federation of India, the largest association of independent cable operators in the East Asian country, fears that many MSOs will not be able to meet the STBs demand by June 30, 2012.
What this means is some people will not be able to watch TV for many months in places like metros. Sharma asks that the government understand the reality and postpone the deadline by at least six months.