New Delhi: The much-trumpeted digitalization of Cable TV services in four metros will now have to wait for four months beyond July 1, when it was originally scheduled to be introduced.
The decision to defer the plan for switchover from analogue to digitalised signals, which promises better TV viewing, was announced by the government on Thursday with a warning of strict penal action if the new deadline is not met.
"The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has decided to modify the 30th June deadline for a complete switch over to 31st October 2012," the I&B ministry said in a statement after the four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata were found to be grossly unprepared.
"All the TRAI regulations for Digital Addressable System will come into effect from 1st November, 2012," the statement added.

It said that the assessment of ground realities, compelled the Ministry of I&B to set a new deadline which would now be monitored more vigorously.
Digitalisation of the cable services in the entire country by December 2014 is one of the ambitious tasks that the I&B ministry has set for itself and the first step towards achieving this goal was its implementation in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai by June 30.
Installing Set Top Boxes (STBs) in each cable viewing household is a precondition for Digitalisation and as per official sources even a fortnight before the June 30, it was estimated that only 30 percent of households had acquired STBs.
"The seeding of STBs in cable viewing households was not satisfactory so a new deadline has been set. The state governments involved had sought an extension of six months till December 31st. However we have agreed to a postponement of deadline till October 31 and this time we plan to monitor it very strictly," a senior official told.
The ministry said that Multi System Operators (MSOs), Local Cable operators (LCOs) or other stakeholders could face action if they don't match the new schedule.


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