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DTH blues for soccer fans - Rain disruptions during Cup leave subscribers fuming

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By RITH BASU
  • Published 24.06.10
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Argentina is attacking with Lionel Messi in front. You wait in anticipation as he deftly dribbles the ball past the defenders, sprints down the left flank and sends a cross to Diego Milito when the Tata Sky connection suddenly goes blank, leaving the screen blue and you seeing red.

Fans following the World Cup on direct-to-home connections are bracing for more such blackouts in the middle of big matches with service providers doing little to cure satellite television of a familiar monsoon malady.

“I have been looking up the weather forecast in the newspaper every morning just to find out whether my DTH signal will stay when I am watching the Cup matches of the day,” Tata Sky subscriber and Brazil fan Swarup Roy told Metro.

Calcutta has three lakh-odd DTH subscribers who are forced to put up with total link failure or loss of picture quality not only during heavy rain but sometimes even when it drizzles.

“I wonder why they haven’t been able to fix this technical snag for so long. It’s so irritating, especially now that the Cup is underway,” said Tata Sky subscriber Sarbani Saha, who endured one such blackout during Tuesday’s France-South Africa clash.

Metro tried contacting Tata Sky’s chief marketing officer Vikram Mehra but he did not answer calls to his cellphone.

Subscribers of Dish TV, Sun Direct, Airtel Digital TV and Big TV said they faced picture problems during a downpour but not total signal loss.

Some disruptions in picture and sound is common to all DTH service providers during showers because the charged field created by friction between the raindrops and air particles interferes with the electromagnetic beams carrying the signals.