Print Edition - 2018-03-29 | News
Ministry consigns analogue TV to history
Mar 29, 2018-
The Ministry of Information and Communication (MoIC) has consigned analogue cable TV signal to history effective from Wednesday in the Capital.
Ministry Secretary Kedar Bahadur Adhikari said, “The ministry has made digital TV signal mandatory for all subscribers in Kathmandu.”
There will be no signal on analogue cable from Thursday. All TV owners must install a set-top box to receive digital signal, he said.
“We have informed all cable TV operators to switch from analogue to digital. We anticipate an increase in revenue by starting digital signal,” Adhikari said.
The ministry had announced the switch to digital last year and instructed all cable operators in Capital.
“We will introduce digital signal to other parts of the country gradually. We have set the deadline of mid-July.
Consumers switching to digital service will have to connect a set-top box to their TV set. They will enjoy high-definition picture and better quality sound.
According to a rough estimate provided by the Federation of Cable TV Associations of Nepal, five cities in the country would need around one million set-top boxes to upgrade to digital TV.
Nepal has an estimated 3.2 million cable subscribers currently.
Switching to digital signal would not be possible for all cable operators. So small operators would have to merge with major ones or create a consortium that would help increase the number of large service providers.
The switch to digital will end the practice of connecting one cable feed to multiple TV sets. A set-up box connects only to one TV.
The switch to digital signal will enable the government to report accurate data of TV users in the country.
Nepal currently has 5.1 million TV households. Nepal’s TV market is huge with a population of 28.5 million having the choice of multiple platforms like terrestrial TV, satellite and cable TV each providing a choice of 70 channels.
Although the government began the process of migrating from analogue to digital TV by amending the National Broadcasting Act 1993 and National Telecommunications Act 1995 in 2012, progress has been slow.
The International Telecommunication Union of the UN had set 2017 end as the deadline for countries to go digital.
As per this requirement, the MoIC directed cable operators to digitise their service within three years. Issues like lack of preparation, and the 2105 earthquake delayed the plan.
After a series of setbacks, the government finally reached a decision and directed cable TV operators to switch to digital from April 29.
Published: 29-03-2018 07:28