BSNL alternative to CAS

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 14.05.07

The city will get a third satellite television viewing option, after conditional access system and direct-to-home service, at the end of next month.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will bring the technology, known as Internet protocol television (IPTV), to Calcutta after Delhi and Mumbai. The trial run is being conducted.

Subscribers to the service will have the options of recording programmes and eliminating advertisements. The picture will be of DVD quality, said general manager (sales and marketing) of Calcutta Telephones, Salil Kumar Bhaduri.

Those without BSNL landline connections will also be able to subscribe to IPTV. The basic package will consist of 100 popular channels. More channels can be added to the bouquet for a fee.

BSNL broadband subscribers will only need to rent a smart electronic device (SED) to avail of IPTV services. The rent and the basic package fee will be around Rs 300 per month. Those without BSNL broadband subscription will have to hire a modem in addition to the SED.

The annual rental of the devices and the basic package fee will come to around Rs 9,000 for those who do not have a BSNL landline connection. They will have to pay in advance. An instalment option will be available, said Bhaduri.

Interactive services, like video on demand and audio on demand, will be available on the IPTV platform in future. A movie on demand will cost about Rs 10.

There are 18 lakh cable connections in the city, while about 80,000 people use set-top boxes, needed to watch television through the conditional access system (CAS) and direct-to-home. From August, the city proper will come under CAS.

There are 12.5lakh BSNL landline subscribers and one lakh broadband subscribers of the company in Calcutta. The number of broadband subscribers is expected to double by the year-end.