Coimbatore is among the cities that face the March 31 deadline under the phase two of digitisation of television systems. With just a couple of days for the deadline, the direct-to-home (DTH) dealers hope there can be more consumers opting for the DTH if the authorities take action on systems operating on the analogue signals.
Though DTH systems are an option for those who do not want to wait for the digitisation deadline, television viewing in the city seems to be already affected by power cuts and slowdown in industrial activities in the district. Sale of DTH systems has faced a slowdown in the last six months, according to some of the DTH dealers in the city.
A DTH dealer at Gopalapuram says those who view local channels more prefer to have cable connections and those who want to view a range of national and international channels prefer the DTH.
The minimum monthly payment in DTH is Rs. 150. It is right now lesser for cable connections.
If digitisation is implemented, there is a possibility of monthly charges going up for those who have cable connections too.
Another dealer in Ondipudur, who caters to a specific area of the city, points out that monthly installation of DTH used to be 15 to 20 a month. During the festival seasons it went up to even 60 a month. Most of the demand is from the urban consumers. Though it is a potential market for DTH, during the last six months sales have come down. The March 31 deadline has not seen many customers coming out of cable connections or going in for set-top boxes.
Awareness on the digitisation programme is relatively low in Coimbatore, the dealers say.