Planning to install a set-top box (STB)?

Make sure that your cable TV operator installs an STB with proper details as prescribed by Legal Metrology Department. The department has found several cable operators selling China-made STBs in violation of the norms.

According to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting guidelines, analog signals are set to be turned off from March 31 and to access the digital signals one needs an STB.

The advantage being enhanced sound and picture quality and access to more than 500 channels.

But operators here are selling STBs without details like name and address of the manufacturer, package date and price tag and are fleecing the customers by charging them anywhere between Rs.1,200 and Rs.1,800.

In a recent raid conducted at an office in Hyderguda, officials of Legal Metrology Department seized 1,500 China-made STBs lacking mandatory specifications. The seized material was handed over in the court for further action.


Officials said operators were importing STBs from China in bulk quantities and selling them at higher rate to encash the current demand even as the deadline is fast approaching.

Like Chinese-made cheap mobile phones, STBs that are low in quality and costing less are available in China and operators are taking advantage of this.

Sources said that a city-based operator had purchased over one lakh STBs in China without adhering to norms.

Upsets consumers

Residents too are upset over the ongoing sale of set-top boxes.

“As there is no government control on the sales, operators are charging exorbitant rates,” rued Greater Hyderabad Residents Forum Secretary S. Sahadev.

He said out of 30 lakh cable TV consumers in GHMC limits, only three lakh have installed STBs.

The forum has submitted a memorandum to the Hyderabad Joint Collector, the nodal officer to look into the implementation process, a few days ago, but nothing concrete has been done till date to help customers, said Mr. Sahadev. “We request the State government to intervene and take necessary steps to prevent operators from fleecing the customers,” he added.


It’s wait and watch for most householdsMarch 5, 2013

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