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CAS, DTH out; Net is in

October 13, 2003 16:53 IST

The clash between the newly-introduced conditional access system and the still-nascent direct-to-home television has come to India far too late, as many countries have done away with both, and consumers now access TV channels and movies through the Internet, experts said on Monday.

The introduction of CAS in Chennai has not attracted any consumer interest, experts told the Open Forum of the 34th International Film Festival of India, adding that consumers' choice will remain limited whether he chooses CAS or DTH.

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"CAS and DTH have been phased out in many countries. DTH is CAS without cable, as both involve the set-top-box to download the channels.

"In either case, the choice is not with the consumer. But in the era of 'personal computer-television convergence', the consumer can decide what to watch. He will download TV channels and movies of his choice and pay through the Internet," said film producer Bobby Nair.

In Chennai, the consumers have sidelined CAS. For a city with 10-50 lakh (1-5 million) TV-viewing homes, the total number of set-top boxes sold was between 2,000 and 3,000, said H S Giridharan, chairman of Chennai-based Lambent Soft Systems.

"In any case, government should not have mandated the introduction of CAS. It is not introduced through legislation in any part of the world," said columnist Anuradha Raman.

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