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Installation of STBs : State seeks extension of deadline by one month

Installation of STBs : State seeks extension of deadline by one month
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In Hyderabad, only three lakh households had installed the STBs. Another 27 lakh were yet to go for the facility. In Visakhapatnam which has over 20...

In Hyderabad, only three lakh households had installed the STBs. Another 27 lakh were yet to go for the facility. In Visakhapatnam which has over 20 lakh cable connections, only 10 per cent has opted for the set top boxes so far Hyderabad: With the deadline for mandatory installation of Set Top Boxes (STBs) to avail cable TV services in both Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam expiring on Sunday night, the state government has sought to come to the rescue of the viewers. It has urged the Centre to extend the deadline by one month. On the request of the MSOs (Multiple System Operators) in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam that were included in the list of cities for digitization of cable TV services in the second phase by March 31, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy wrote to the Union Ministry for Information and Broadcasting seeking further extension of the deadline till the end of April. The MSOs informed the government that STBs were yet to be installed for some 45 lakh TVs in the households connected by analog cable services in the two cities. In Hyderabad, only three lakh households had installed the STBs. Another 27 lakh were yet to go for the facility. In Visakhapatnam which has over 20 lakh cable connections, only 10 per cent has opted for the set top boxes so far. The non-availability of required STBs and lack of awareness among people about the digitization of TV programmes were the main reasons for not achieving the target within in the stipulated time, the cable operators said. It was also not clear that the households in Greater Hyderabad, which come partly under the limits of Ranga Reddy and Medak districts, will go blank after the deadline. Neither the government nor the cable operators had clarified the viewers so far on this. It is estimated that around 5 lakh TV cable services will be disconnected from transmission if the deadline applied in these areas. The civil society organizations like Greater Hyderabad Residential Welfare Associations had already submitted memoranda to local authorities seeking extension of the deadline.
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