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Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems (DAS)

                 DAS is a cable TV service in which TV channels are sent through cable TV network in digital and encrypted form. Only authorised users can receive channels using a Set-Top-Box(STB) and TV set. The authorization is given by the service providers, who are Multi System Operator (MSO) and its linked local cable operators (LCO)

This system is able to carry large number of TV channels, radio services and other value added services. In this system the consumers can choose channels/ services of their choice and pay only for the same.

Existing Analog System

The existing cable TV system is predominately analog in nature. In case of analog cable TV system, the TV channels are sent in analog and unencrypted form. The analog cable TV system can carry up to 80-100 TV channels. In this system the consumers do not have an option to choose channels/services of their choice and pay accordingly, rather they have to pay for the entire bouquet of channels offered by the cable operator.

On the other hand, the capacity of a DAS is much higher than the existing analog cable TV system. A consumer under DAS will be able to choose channels/services of his choice and pay  accordingly. A Set-Top-Box (STB) is required along with the TV set for receiving the channels in DAS.

Difference between DAS and CAS (Conditional Access System)

DAS is a fully digital addressable system whereas CAS is not. In CAS notified area, the free-to-air (FTA) channels are carried over the network in analog form while the pay channels are carried in encrypted and digitally modulated form for which a STB is required. While in DAS all the channels (pay as well as FTA) carried over the network are encrypted and digitally modulated and a STB is required for receiving both FTA and pay channels.

Difference between DTH and DAS

Although both are digital addressable systems, in DTH service, TV channels are directly received by consumer from satellite using small dish antennas located at the customer premise. However, in DAS TV signals reach consumer through the cable network. The DAS is capable of carrying interactive value added service, triple play services (Video + Audio +Data), broadband etc. through the same cable TV network.

DAS will become mandatory by Dec 2014

The Government has notified that it is obligatory for every cable operator to transmit or re-transmit programmes of any channel in an encrypted form through a digital addressable system in the entire country, in 4 phases as per the schedule given below:-

Phase I : 31th Oct 2012: National Capital Territory of Delhi, Municipal Council of Greater Mumbai area, Kolkata Metropolitan area and Chennai Metropolitan area

Phase II : 31st March 2013: 38 Cities with a population of more than one million;

Phase III : 30th September 2014: All other urban areas (Municipal Corp./ Municipalities) except cities/ towns/ areas specified for the corresponding Phase I and Phase II above, and

Phase IV : 31st December 2014: Rest of India.

After complete switchover, the cable TV services will  be available only through digital addressable Systems.

Advantages of DAS for the consumers

The DAS offers following benefits to the consumer.

    •   Consumer will get better signal quality for all the channels.

    •   Consumer will get more choice of channels. DAS supports HD and 3D channels.

    •   Consumers can choose the channels on a-la-carte (individual) basis and pay only for the channels chosen.

    •   DAS can offer value added services such as triple play with broadband, movie on demand etc.

    •   Electronic programme guide (EPG) can be provided in DAS which makes it easy for the consumer to select a particular channel or service in simple          user friendly manner.
    •   These features, amongst the others provide a much improved viewing experience to the consumers.
Mandatory channels in DAS

It shall be mandatory for cable operators to transmit or retransmit the channels of Doordarshan required to be transmitted compulsorily under section 8 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 (7 of 1995),as amended from time to time, to each subscriber on its network. Currently, the channels viz. DD-1, DD-News, DD- Regional (concerned region), DD-Rajya Sabha DD-Sports, DD-Urdu, Gyandarshan and Lok-Sabha are required to be transmitted compulsorily to each subscriber on its network.

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