Mangaluru: Set-top boxes sell like hotcakes as deadline ends

Daijiworld Media Network-Mangaluru (RJP)

Mangaluru, Jan 1: December 31 was the last day to install set-top boxes for television (TV) viewers with cable connections. As the day was ending, hectic activities could be seen in many houses around the city getting the set up box installed. Thousands of houses who waited for the last day, managed to buy the set-top boxes and get them installed.

The district administration had said that deadline could not be extended and all the cable connections without set-top boxes will be disconnected at midnight of December 31. Though many wanted to install the set-top boxes, some people could not do it since they had to invest Rs 1,700 for the set-top box. As it is not a small amount for majority of people, they had to postpone the installation. And some people, who could afford, could not do it due to long holidays. In some cases, cable operators did not turn up in time as they were fixing thousands of set-top boxes in city.

So far only 80 % of cable TV consumers have fixed set-top boxes in Udupi and Mangaluru cities. 20 % of the consumers are facing disconnection today. The district administration says that while they are aware that the connections will disconnected, they do not have any control over the same. Only ministry of broadcasting and information has the control over the disconnection of cable TVs and extension of the deadline. State government had made a request to the ministry for which there was no positive reply.

The digitalization process has been going on since 2011. This is the third phase of digitalization and cities like Mangaluru and Udupi were part of this phase and the deadline in these cities was December 31.

As per cable operators, during the last ten days around 1 lac set-top boxes were in demand while they had a supply of only 65,000. Balance of 35,000 set-top boxes are yet to be fixed.

It is not yet known if the connections have been disconnected or not. A cable operator said that the connections are yet to be disconnected. Out of these 35,000 subscribers it is obvious that most of them are poor. And that is the problem in all the deadlines- poor remains the last.

As the demand outstripped supply, some cable operators or their workers charged an unofficial premium or tips of minimum Rs 200 on the last day. It is expected to go up today.

In Udupi alone 8000 set-top boxes were installed on December 31. In Mangaluru it was twice more than that, said cable operators. Operators say they need at least three months to install set-boxes in all the houses in Udupi and Mangaluru.


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Comment on this article

  • john simpn, manglir

    Fri, Jan 01 2016

    When set top boxes are installed tax collection from the cable operators becomes easy for the Government. Without set top cable operators can easily evade tax by showing less number of connections.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jerrycrasta, Mangalore

    Fri, Jan 01 2016

    Totally wrong govt and the cable operator hand in glove, it is waste of money and looting cable got ads and they earn money with the advertise also plus they take money from the customer it is wrong

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Michael Quadros, Bahrain/Mangalore

    Fri, Jan 01 2016

    Set top box is must to be installed to view the cable network new law implemented. By the government may be because set top boxes manufacturers . may be some politicians company.

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anil Hegde, Mangalore

    Fri, Jan 01 2016

    My local cable operator charged Rs 2000 for installing the set top box in my home. Due to shortage of set top box in city the price may go up more than Rs 2000 in the coming days.

    DisAgree Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shekar Moily Padebettu, Udupi/India

    Fri, Jan 01 2016

    Why it is so mandatory/compulsory to install set-top boxes and what is the logic behind it?All these years it was going on smoothly with or without set-top boxes,why this issue has cropped up abruptly and suddenly giving the deadline 31.12.2015 as the last dead line date.This type of decision by the concerned authorities put most of the people especially middle class people in great difficulties.Those who are having enough money,they can afford to do anything in their life,real sufferers are the poor and middle class people.Some people are not even afford to spend Rs 100-200 for their daily groceries,how can they spend Rs 1700/ at one go for installing set-top box.Why this compulsion?.This is their own individual decision whether or not to install set-top box or not?.Really I feel sorry for the decision taken by the concerned authorities.Ridiculous.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Kamath, Mangalore

    Fri, Jan 01 2016

    The main reason for the installation of Set Top boxes is to stop illegal cable connections. One house takes 1 cable connection and has a point in every room along with the hall. With Set Top boxes, that is definitely going to stop.

    Secondly, I remember this rule was to be implemented ant 2 years back. I got one for my house on 2013 and I was charged just Rs 1,000/-. If one decides to wait till the end, excess amount is bound to be charged.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

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