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Friday, September 21, 2012

Around 68% viewers in four metros switch to digital TV

NEW DELHI: With the deadline for digitization less than two months away, 68% viewers have switched to digital television. The information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry held a review of progress of the four metro cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai — that are expected to complete the digitization process by October 31.

A ministry statement said the most number of set-top boxes (STBs) had been installed in Mumbai, where 95% of TV households had gone digital. Kolkata came second with 67%, Delhi (53%) while Chennai reported 49% penetration.

Officials said installation of STBs in cable TV homes was one of the most crucial pre-conditions for the digital switchover and with just six weeks remaining, the ministry was constantly reviewing progress.

The ministry said as per 2011 census data, average TV penetration in the four metros was about 80%. According to the census data, of the 103.76 lakh households in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai, 82.59 lakh had TV sets of which 25.59 lakh households had Direct To Home (DTH) connection. Out of these, 46.71 lakh households had installed an STB.

The achievement of digitization will go up to 77% if figures of 25.59 lakh households that already have DTH connection are added, the ministry said.

The I&B ministry has also launched a publicity campaign to spread awareness about the benefits of digitization which will allow greater choice of channels and better quality at competitive pricing to viewers.