Giving in to popular demand, multi-system operators (MSOs) in the city continued with transmitting analogue signals on Monday evening — more than 12 hours after the digitisation deadline ended.
For some time (hours) past midnight, one of the two MSOs in the city stopped transmitting analogue signals. But the operator restored it later after its subscribers came calling in the morning and its officials learnt that the other MSO in the city was beaming analogue signals uninterrupted.
Tele viewers were confused over the cable flip-flop after the digitisation deadline. The TV set of Shailendra Dixit, a resident of Aneesabad, blinked for some time. “When I switched on the TV at 8am, all channels were available. But none was there around 10,” he said.
Shyamli Dey, a resident of Kankerbagh, missed TV action in the morning. She said: “None of the channels could be viewed in the morning. After 1pm, I could watch many channels.”
The MSOs admitted that analogue signals were being transmitted erratically. “According to the mandate of the government, we stopped transmitting analogue signals post-Sunday midnight. However, around 150 subscribers came to our office in the morning and demanded continuation of transmission of signals. After we learnt that the other MSO was transmitting all analogue channels, we resumed beaming them in the afternoon,” said Sushil Kumar, director, Darsh Digital Network Pvt. Ltd.
SITI Maurya Cablenet Pvt. Ltd, the other MSO in the city, claimed that only two channels (SAB TV and UTV Bindass) had stopped transmitting analogue signals. “We have not stopped the transmission of analogue signals of any channel at our end because of pressure from public,” said Rajnish Dikshit, director, SITI Maurya Cablenet Pvt. Ltd.
Rajnish, along with several local cable operators, met Patna district magistrate N. Saravana Kumar on Monday and gave him a memorandum seeking intervention from the district administration and the state government in extending the deadline for digitisation. “We have asked for at least another 45 days,” said Rajnish.
Saravana said no extension had been granted as of now, but the application had been forwarded to the state public relations department with positive recommendations.
The overall requirement of digital set-top boxes in the city is 4 lakh. Around 90,000 sets have the gadget at present.