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Chennai Exclusive News

Chennai Cable TV users directed to buy a set-top box before July 1

Chennai,Feb 25 (): The Union information and broadcasting ministry has directed the Cable TV users in Chennai to buy a set-top box before the month of July 1, 2012, when all cable operators will switch to providing signals only in digital mode.

To continue watching their favorite television channels, some 20 lakh households in the city with non-DTH connections will have to go for set-top boxes.

“All households in Chennai which are using the conditional access system (CAS) will have to buy new set-top box from the cable operators. Currently, only 2.5 lakh have set-top boxes, while over 20 lakh homes have direct connections through cable operators, and another 2.5 lakh, Direct to Home (DTH) connections,” say sources in the Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation Limited (ACTL).

It will lead to regularity, giving viewers access to all channels, once the digitization happens. But the Information and Broadcasting ministry’s order has confused the ACTL as it had recently invited cable TV operators here to join it after breaking the control of SCV in other parts of  Tamil Nadu.

It is now in confusion whether to accept the applications from cable operators in Chennai or wait till the end of the month of June. “We are now wondering whether to go ahead with the applications received from Chennai cable operators or not. We will decide this after discussing the issue with the government,” says an Arasu Cable TV Limited official.

The Arasu Cable TV Limited is impractical about where to acquire the set-top boxes that are to be used from July 1. “We have not yet received any directions from the Centre. Procuring set-top boxes and distributing them is not going to come cheap,” note the officials.