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Ans. CAS or conditional access system, is a digital mode of transmitting TV channels through a set-top box (STB). The transmission signals are encrypted and viewers need to buy a set-top box to receive and decrypt the signal. The STB is required to watch only pay channels. The idea of CAS was mooted in 2001, due to a furore over charge hikes by channels and subsequently by cable operators. Poor reception of certain channels; arbitrary pricing and increase in prices; bundling of channels; poor service delivery by Cable Television Operators (CTOs); monopolies in each area; lack of regulatory framework and redress avenues were some of the issues that were to be addressed by implementation of CAS

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

Ans. The Multi-System Operator (MSO) and its linked local cable operators (LCOs) are the service providers in DAS (hereinafter referred as cable operators).

Ans. Although both are digital addressable systems, in DTH service, TV channels are directly received by consumer from satellite using small dish antennas located at 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.

Ans. 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.

Ans. For getting the services in DAS an additional piece of equipment called Set-Top Box (STB) is required along with TV set. This set top box will facilitate the consumer to access the encrypted digital television signal carried over DAS.

Ans. 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.

Ans. DTH and DAS are two independent different platforms. The consumer have option to avail both the services at his option.

Ans. “Set top box” (STB) is a device, which is connected to a television set at the consumer premises and which allows a consumer to view encrypted channels of his choice. The basic function of the set top box is to decrypt the channels and to convert the digital signals into analog mode for viewing on television sets. A smart card or viewing card is a part of set top box which allow only those channels to beviewed which are subscribed by the consumer and authorised by the service provider.

Ans. The TV channels carried in DAS cannot be received without STB. The STB can be stand-alone unit or TV sets can have STB functions integrated into it.

Ans. The cable operator should prescribe the terms and conditions for return of STB, at the time of subscription of the service, acquired under outright purchase, rental and hire-purchase schemes at the time of subscription. The following are the rules regarding return of STB:-

  • The cable operator should refund the security deposit(if any), after adjusting the dues, if any.
  • In the case of the consumer shifting his premises within the service area of cable operator, he shall be given a transfer voucher for provisioning of a new STB on the same terms and conditions at the new address.
  • If the consumer is not satisfied with the services provided by the cable operator, the consumer shall be free to opt out and the cable operator shall allow the consumer to surrender the STB after making deductions in accordance with the conditions specified to the consumer at the time of purchasing of the STB, however such deductions shall not exceed 25% for each half year or part of it.

Ans. In case a consumer has more than one television set in his home, he needs to get separate set top box for each television set.

Ans. A-la-carte offering of TV channels means offering the channel individually on standalone basis.Bouquet of channels means an assortment of distinct channels, offered together as a group or as a bundle.

Ans. The monthly charge depends upon the package/ bouquet/ channels/services chosen by the consumer. The consumers of DAS can choose package, bouquet,one or more pay channel, only FTA channels, only pay channels, pay channels and FTA channels offered by the cable operator.If the consumer opts for one or more FTA channels without Pay channels, the operator can prescribe a minimum monthly subscription, not exceeding Rs. 100/-per connection per month ( excluding taxes). Further, if the consumer opts for one 6 or more pay channels, with or without FTA channels- the operator can prescribe a minimum monthly subscription, not exceeding Rs. 150/- per connection per month (excluding Taxes).

Ans. In DAS, cable operator has to compulsorily offer a package of 100 free-to-air (FTA) channels, called Basic Service Tier(BST) at a MRP of Rs. 100/-(exclusive of taxes) per month per connection. The consumer can also choose any combination of free to air channels up to 100 channels, in lieu of the basic service tier offered by the multi-system operator at a MRP of Rs. 100/-(exclusive of taxes). While Cable operator has to offer the Basic Service Tier, it is not obligatory for consumer to subscribe to the BST.

Ans. In DAS, the BST must consists at least 5 channels of each genre namely news and current affairs, infotainment, sports, kids, music, lifestyle, movies and general entertainment in Hindi, English and regional language of the region. In case sufficient number of free to air channels of a particular genre is not available, the multi-system operator shall include in the basic service tier the channels of other genres. Doordarshan channels, namely DD-Bharati, DDMalyalam, DD-Podhigai, DD-Odiya, DD-Bangla, DD-Saptagiri, DD-Chandana, DD-Sahyadri, DD-Girnar, DD-Kashir, DD-NE , DD-Punjabi shall also form part of BST.

Ans. The a-la-carte channel rates and bouquet rates are to be decided by the MSO.

Ans. Free-to Air (FTA) channel means a channel for which no subscription fee is to be paid by the MSO to the broadcaster for its re-transmission on cable. However the operator may prescribe subscription charges for such channels to be paid by the consumers for reception of such channels.

Ans. Pay channel means a channel for which subscription fee is to be paid to the broadcaster by the MSO operator and due authorization needs to be taken from the broadcaster for its re-transmission on cable.

Ans. No. BST consists of only FTA channels.

Ans. Every cable operator should establish a complaint centre where the service related complaints and service requests can be placed by the consumer. The consumer care number must be toll free and the cable operator should provide a docket no. for each complaint. Besides Cable operator must have web based complaint monitoring system where the consumers can place their request and monitor the status of their complaint. In case consumer is not satisfied with the redressal of his complaints through complaint Centre, he can approach the nodal officer of the operator. There must be one or more nodal officers in every state in which the cable operator is providing the service.

Ans. The consumer complaints to be responded within 8 hours The time limit for redressing the complaints by the call center and nodal officers have been given in the Quality of service Regulations for DAS. The extract of these regulations with regard to time limits for complaint redressal are as under:
The time limit for redressal are

  • All complaints shall be responded to within eight hours of receipt of the complaint. However, complaints received during the night shall be attended by the next day.
  • No complaint shall remain unresolved beyond 3 days.
  • Complaints related to billing should be redressed within 7 days.
  • Complaints made to the nodal officer should be redressed in 10 days.
  • In case the complaints are not resolved, the cable operator should mention the reason.

Ans. The consumer can ask for the details of the schemes offered by the cable operator and ask the cable operator for terms and conditions of subscription and STB.

  • The consumer has right to ask for channels on a-la-carte basis.
  • The consumer can ask for receipt for the payment made by him.
  • The consumer can ask for the details of his bill under pre-paid subscription by paying a reasonable amount fixed by the cable operator
  • Consumer can suspend his cable service for a period 1 month to three months, giving 15 days notice in advance. The consumer is not required to pay subscription charge except rental for STB(if any)
  • The consumer can ask for Manual of Practice at the time of subscription.
  • Consumer has a right to seek the redressal under the consumer protection Act1986 or any other law for the time being enforced.

Ans.

  • The subscriber should give prior notice for disconnection of the service.
  • The consumer should protect and safeguard the property of the cable operator placed at the premises of the subscriber.

Ans. No, Cable operator cannot discontinue exhibition of any channel without giving prior notice of fifteen days to its subscribers and such notice shall be published in the local news paper and displayed through scrolls on TV screen.

Ans. The cable operator cannot change the composition of subscription package, subscribed by the consumer, during first six month of subscription or during the entire period if subscription amount has been paid in advance. However, if the channels are not available in the platform of the cable operator then, the cable operator shall reduce the subscription charges payable by the consumer by an amount equivalent to the a-la-carte rate of such channel from the date of discontinuance of the channel. The cable operator may offer an alternative channel of the genre and language of the channel discontinued and, if the offer is accepted by the subscriber, the cable operator may not reduce

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