Even as the deadline for stopping transmission of analogue signal through cable television network and installing set-top boxes facilitating digital transmission expired on midnight of Sunday, transmission of analogue signal continued in case of some channels, mostly news channels on Monday.
Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad are the cities in the State for which the deadline for ending analogue transmission has been set.
The State Government sent a request to the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to extend the deadline by a month but this was rejected.
Meanwhile the Union Minister Manish Tewari said on Sunday said that the analogue transmission was being stopped with blocking some channels.
Enough time and extensions were given for conversion from analogue to digital was given, he added. Viewers could watch news channels on Monday but some entertainment channels were taken off the screen. In Visakhapatnam, operators have provided set-top boxes for nearly 40,000 out of 5 lakh cable TV connections, Collector V. Sheshadri said on Monday. “We can’t do much in this issue. The cable operators have to provide the set-top boxes and we can only request the Central Government to extend time”, he told reporters.
Each set-top box must be made available between Rs. 1,200 and Rs. 1,400, he said.
Joint Collector Pravin Kumar held a meeting with the MSOs to provide set top boxes as quickly as possible and also regularly reviewing the progress.
But the MSOs expressed their helplessness as they are not in a position to face the huge task of supplying lakhs set-top boxes. They also need large investment to get the stock before they are paid back by their subscribers.
Also, a major chunk of set-top boxes have to be imported and some process has to be gone through for installation and connecting the signal to the set-top box.