Q1. What is meant by Digitalization of Cable TV?

Ans. It simply means that cable TV will bring digital signal to your doorstep. With this technology subscribers will get superior picture and sound quality, a large bouquet of channels, choice of channel, games and movies on demand.

Q2. What are the advantages of digital cable TV?

Ans. The state of art digital technology will make available enhanced picture and sound quality, large no. of channels and value added services like movies on demand, broadband, games, pay per view, HD etc. The digital cable TV service will be available through a Set Top Box.

Q3. Can weather affect digital Cable TV?

Ans. No. Digital Cable TV is not affected by rainy weather unlike the DTH service.

Q4. What is DAS or Digital Addressable System?

Ans. Digital Addressable System (DAS) is a description normally used for a set of hardware devices and connected software used at different stages of distribution of a TV channels through which the channels are transmitted in encrypted form. It contains the following attributes:The subscriber is given an authorization depending upon his request to view one or more of such encrypted channels of his choice.

Q5. What is a ‘Set Top Box’?

Ans.”Set top box”(STB) is a device, which is connected to a television set at the subscribers’ premises and which allows a subscriber to view encrypted channels of his choice on payment. The basic function of the Set Top Box is to decrypt/decode the signals of those channels which the subscriber has been authorized by the multi system operator to receive and to convert the digital signals into analogue mode for viewing on television sets.

Q6. What is a smart card or viewing card?

Ans. A smart card or a viewing card essentially functions like an ATM Card and comes along with the Set Top Box and allows the signals of only those channels to be seen which the subscriber has contracted to pay for a particular period.

Q7. Who is a Multi System Operator?

Ans. “Multi-System Operator ( MSO )” means a cable operator who receives a programming service from a broadcaster and/or his authorized agencies and re-transmits the same or transmits his own programming service for simultaneous reception either by multiple subscribers directly or through one or more local cable operators (LCOs), and includes his authorized distribution agencies by whatever name called.

Q8. What is the role assigned to a multisystem operator with respect to DAS ?

Ans. Introduction of addressable systems requires large investments in equipment such as Headend, encryption, Subscriber management system and set top boxes. This level of investment cannot be done by the local cable operator. Hence an MSO sets the platform to receive signals from the broadcasters, adapts it to provide for addressability, keeps the consumer database, ensures compliance of quality of service and other regulations of TRAI and through Local cable operators or in some cases directly provides channels to subscribers. Thus the local cable operator is supposed to enter into an agreement with one of the permitted MSOs.(As per TRAI guidelines)

Q9. Does one have to buy a new smart card if one wants to change the subscriptions of channels (i.e., opt for different channels)?

Ans. No. Since in DAS subscriber is addressable, a subscriber has to only intimate the change in package to the multi system operator directly or through the Cable Operator, the multi system operator can change the privileges attached to the viewing card or smart card attached to the Set Top Box.

Q10. Will the Set Top box also make available free to air channels along with pay channels?

Ans. Yes. As both free to air and pay channels shall have to be carried in digital domain in encrypted format, both shall be receivable with the same Set Top Box.