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Posted on Oct 31, 10:05PM | IANS
Cable television in the three metros of New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata is set to go digital from midnight Wednesday. The Madras High Court has stayed till Monday the order on digitization for Chennai.
"The digitalization will begin at 12 midnight," an information and broadcasting ministry official told IANS.
As of now, 91 percent digitization of the cable TV network has been achieved, and along with Direct to Home, it has touched 94 percent.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has slammed the move to go digital. She hit out at the central government Tuesday, terming the digitization move as "unnecessary expense" thrust upon residents of Kolkata.
With the digitalization of the signals, the analogue cable signals will cease in the four metros from midnight Wednesday to give way to digital addressable systems (DAS).
Of the four metros, New Delhi has achieved 95 percent digitization, and along with DTH the percentage adds up to 97. Mumbai has achieved 100 percent digitization.
Kolkata has achieved 83 percent digitization of the cable TV network, and along with DTH the figure is 85 percent, an official statement said Wednesday.
In Chennai, cable TV digitization has been static at 62 percent. However, with DTH the percentage has touched 86 percent.
The digitization move has resulted in a huge jump in the number of set top boxes, a mandatory requirement to catch the digital signals, in the four cities.
The number of DTH subscribers in Mumbai has gone up to 7.53 lakh, in Delhi it is 10.17 lakh, Kolkata has 3.20 lakh subscribers and Chennai has 7.11 lakh subscribes so far, the statement said. The number of DTH subscribers in the four metro cities has touched 28.01 lakh.
DEN Networks, a leading multi-system operator, said in Delhi 50,000 set top boxes were installed on Wednesday alone.
A control room set up in the ministry has been flooded with calls, especially from consumers, with queries on the cost of set top boxes and their availability.
"The Control Room has so far received more than 4,000 calls from Oct 19 onwards. On Tuesday, almost 500 calls were received," it said.