The much-awaited deadline for DAS Phase II, March 31, is fast approaching and broadcasters are all set to switch to digital in the 38 cities.
The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has reiterated its commitment to television broadcasting digitisation. As mandated by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting under the Cable Television Network Amendment Ordinance 2011, for the 38 cities notified in the Phase II sequence of digitisation roll out, television broadcasters will comprehensively switch off all analogue signals from midnight Sunday, March 31, 2013.
At its recent meeting held on March 19, the IBF board stressed such a move is necessary to smoothen the transition from analogue to digital cable TV.
Commenting on the initiative, Man Jit Singh, CEO, MSM and President, IBF said, “IBF and its members are committed to the successful implementation of digitisation in India. Our awareness campaign has received very good response. We are confident that the successful implementation of DAS II will tremendously improve the quality of television content and consequent viewership in the country.”
IBF members have been running regular awareness campaigns to educate consumers on the various benefits of digitisation. Some of these benefits include better picture and sound quality, enhanced services such as high definition, video on demand content and eventually, higher quality content. In addition, digitisation will also enable viewers to choose and pay for only those channels they want, rather than pick from packages with fixed prices. Digitisation will also bring about greater transparency between broadcasters, cable operators and consumer.
According to government statistics, overall 67 per cent digitisation has taken place so far. Will pulling off analogue signals have a negative impact? Singh said, “We have seen acceleration in the last moment. There are various pockets in the market which installs after the deadline. But for us it’s a law and government has given a deadline. We have to do what the law says.”
The March 31 2013 Phase II deadline covers Agra, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Faridabad, Ghaziabad,Howrah, Hyderabad, Indore, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kalyan-Dombivli, Kanpur,Lucknow, Ludhiana, Meerut, Mysore, Nagpur, Nasik, Navi Mumbai, Patna, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune, Rajkot, Ranchi, Sholapur, Srinagar, Surat, Thane, Vadodara, Varanasi, and Visakhapatnam.