Cable operators in dilemma

Currently, there are a total of 4,000 cable operators in Bangladesh, with around 850 of them in Dhaka and Chittagong

Cable operators are in a dilemma trying to meet the government deadline of digitalizing satellite channels in Dhaka and Chittagong by November 30.

On November 4, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry directed all cable operators to provide services by using set-top boxes.

However, operators say that since the set-top boxes need to be purchased from China, the deadline does not give them enough time  to completely switch from the analog system.

What is a set-top box Cable operators in dilemma?

A set-top box is a device that allows a TV set to receive the signal directly from the satellite and then decode it while viewers are watching television.

In the current system, a cable needs to be directly connected to the television directly in order for the satellite channels to be aired.

However, in a set-top box, a High-Definition Multimedia Interface or HDMI cable is connected to the box, which then connects to the television.

The HDMI allows a port to send high-resolution digital video, theatre-quality sound and device commands through a connector and allows for a sharper image and audio.

Why did govt order use of set-top box?

Currently, there are a total of 4,000 cable operators in Bangladesh, with around 850 of them in Dhaka and Chittagong.

Each operator has at least 300-3,000 consumers and takes Tk200-500 from each consumer, according to Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB) Founder President SM Anwar Parvez. 

The analog system does not allow the government to track how many consumers are using the connection, which in turn leads to the government not receiving any revenue.   

“We agree that the government is not getting the exact revenue, but at the same time, we the owners are not earning the exact amount of money either,” says SM Anwar Parvez. 

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