Anil Thakraney: Dude, who moved my analogue?

08 Jun,2012

By Anil Thakraney

 

Today morning my maid asked for a loan of a thousand bucks. And when I gently enquired about the reason behind the urgent need, she very sadly replied: “Sir, set-top box lene ka hai. Nahin toh TV band ho jaayega.”

 

Yes, she’s alarmed. Because the threatening ads keep pouring in. And as the D-Day gets closer, their frequency has shot up. We in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai are warned that if we don’t go digital by the end of this month, there will be a black out on the idiot box. And as you can imagine, there’s a mad scramble for the set=top boxes. Given the wayIndiaoperates, there will be mayhem in the last week of June, because most of us do things at the last moment, that’s our culture. And I shan’t be surprised if cable operators start hawking the boxes in black. That too is our culture.

 

Here’s the link to the detailed story on this subject done by mxmindia, which indicates the threat may be pushed by a few months:

http://www.mxmindia.com/2012/06/ready-steady-go-or-delay

 

On the face of it, the government is desperate for a switch from analogue to digital for technical and aesthetic reasons. And because the very sensitive government of ours (ROTFL!) wants us to enjoy better picture quality. (To be honest, it’s best to watch most of our heavyweight netas via inferior quality transmission.) And all this even as a vast majority of the people in this nation is quite cool with the analogue signal. Not just that. The poor are struggling to pay for the set-top boxes. And the elderly citizens are worried about having to learn new tricks in their sunset years.

 

Now, I don’t quite understand the technological reasons behind digitization becoming mandatory. What I do want to know is this: Why can’t the citizens of this free country be given the option? So that people desirous of better picture quality can switch to the digital mode. And those who are happy with analogue, can stay with it. As far as rate structures goes, surely the concerned ministry and TRAI can work out rate cards in consultation with the various cable operators.

 

Here’s my own feeling: I suspect digitization is being made compulsory because the set top-box makers are about to run into some serious dosh. How all that moolah will be divided, I leave for you to imagine.

 

PS: A fantastic way to demonstrate the might of the aam junta. Created by TBWA Paris for Amnesty International, the film highlights how signature campaigns work effectively in fighting crimes committed by those in positions of power. Hard hitting!

 

Anil Thakraney is a senior journalist, commentator and adman. He is also Editor-at-Large, MxMIndia. The views expressed here are his own.

 

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2 responses to “Anil Thakraney: Dude, who moved my analogue?”

  1. Dara says:

    With the current pious and pure atmospherics around us
    there is no doubt that the air we are breathing is impure so
    there is no need for you, Mr Anil Thakraney, to unnecessarily add to our woes — why get uptight about imaginary issues like black-marketing of set-top boxes and/or the killing some guys will make under our very noses in the bargain.

    This will be the proverbial straw that will break the CBI’s over-burdened back if you complain too much.

    Our government wants to go Digital all over India as it is felt that our cable operators escape service tax, not paying the required amount of tax on the total number of cable connections they provide. With digitization our cable guys will not be able to misreport or fudge the numbers and then on tax man sing … everything is ‘tickety-boo’!

    Hurray!

  2. Himanshu says:

    Hi Mr Tharaney…

    All this is fine…but what happened to the maid? Did she get the loan 🙂

    On second thoughts, I hope DIGITIZATION is not picked up as a election MUDDA by parties in opposition against the ruling combine…then one really would do ROTFL…

    A good article!

    I hope earlier request to append dates to columns on this site is listened and deliberated. I am paranoid…if I am media dark for some time and as soon as I get connected to internet and the first thing I check is MXMINDIA…how would I know which article corresponds to what period in time?

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