Block analogue channels: Kolkata cable operators

Kolkata, Jan 29 (IANS) Complete digitisation of cable TV will not be possible in the city until and unless all analogue channels are blocked, Kolkata's cable operators say.

"The main problem that remains is that there are still some channels running on analogue cable and unless they are blocked from beaming, 100 percent digitisation will not be possible," said Swapan Chowdhury, convener of the cable operators digitisation committee of the Association of Cable Operators in the city.

According to Chowdhury, all the channels have been made available in the digital mode via set-top boxes but around five to 10 channels are still being beamed on analogue cable by the multi-system operators or MSOs of the city.

"As long as there are a few channels still being shown in the analogue format by city MSOs, a small section of consumers will wait it out till the last moment (when no analogue channels are shown) before acquiring a set-top box. We need the state government to issue an order for barring analogue cable soon for that to happen," explained Chowdhury.

So far 70 to 72 percent consumers have installed set-top boxes but the remaining are yet to take the initiative.

"In a meeting with state Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim Monday, all city based cable operators and MSOs have forwarded a proposal for ordering complete blocking of analogue channels by Feb 1," he said.

"He (the minister) is supposed to collect all reports on the matter and will take a decision based on the reports. As far as the MSOs are concerned, almost all of them are ready to shut down analogue signal by the designated date," added Chowdhury.

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