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Reporter’s Diary: Of Skyfall & blank TV screens

03-November-2012
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Reporter’s Diary: Of Skyfall & blank TV screens

“Ready or not, here I come” – the line that we had used while playing hide and seek as kids, somehow comes to my mind while witnessing the cable TV digitisation process in the country. This time round, there was no delay, no postponement and the digital switchover started as per schedule at the midnight of October 31, 2012 in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Chennai got a reprieve of five days till November 5 to get its infrastructure in order.

So now, while the Government claims great success in digitisation, the ground realities state a different story. There are several lakh households in all the four metros still awaiting a set top box and are facing blank television screens. As per some reports, well over 6 lakh homes in Mumbai are faced with the prospect of blank TV screens this Diwali. One wonders where the blame lies, whom do people approach? The Government has set up control rooms to address grievances, but your guess is as good as mine whether these are actually up and running.

By the way, if you are in Delhi and have some complaint regarding set top boxes, you could call: 011-23370262 between 9.30AM and 6PM.

Talking about Diwali, there are two big budget films lined up – ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ and ‘Son of Sardar’. It’s interesting to see how hype is being created for the two movies, especially the use of social media and brand associations.

But what I really wanted to see was the latest James Bond flick ‘Skyfall’ and I got that opportunity a couple of days back at a special preview. The MI6 agent is completing 50 years on the silver screen this year and what a journey it has been. What struck me most about ‘Skyfall’ were two things – a villain like no other James Bond movie villain in Javier Bardem and using cyber media to wreak havoc. The movie sees Bond grappling with the new metrics of digital media, which somewhat reminded me of another action hero, John McClane (aka Bruce Willis), struggling with the new reality of cyber terrorism in ‘Die Hard 4’.

As M says in ‘Skyfall’, “Today we are fighting shadows”, the face of terror is unknown, highly informed and motivated and ruthless. ‘Skyfall’ is not so much about the typical Bond fare of girls, guns and gadgets, but more about keeping up with the times in a world that is always wired and always on.

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