Even as the channel turned digital at the strike of midnight on January 31, as promised by the Zee, a lot of viewers are unable to watch the channel. Reason: Those cable operators, who are not connected to the existing digital channels of the Zee bouquet, do not have the digital receivers needed to decode the digital Zee News channel and then distribute it to their subscribers.
Even though cable operators are aware about Zee News turning digital, they're not willing to shell out big money to acquire the receiver. According to the Zee official, the receiver set costs around Rs 10,000. But Zee has announced a scheme, which allows cable operators to take the receiver on rent. For the Zee rental scheme, cable operators need to pay Rs 4,000 as a refundable deposit and Rs 100 per month as rent.
The problem revolving around digital receivers is compounded by the fact that mostly digital receivers being used by cable operators are channel- specific. For instance, a receiver being used for the channels under the Star bouquet cannot be used for the Zee bouquet of channels. And that is where the problem lies.
But there are some digital channels such as TV5, FTV, BBC and a host of Southern channels, which can be accessed with universal digital receivers. But Star and Zee digital channels cannot be accessed with the help of these universal digital receivers.