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HomeArticlesCable TVTechnical Difference of DTH and Cable TV, April 2006
Wednesday, 19 April 2006 06:02

Technical Difference of DTH and Cable TV, April 2006

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1. TV Programs received through Cable Operators (customer does not have to buy Dish).

2. Customer does not have to Install any Dish at his premises. Cable Operators/MSO install many dishes in their control room to show all the popular channels to their subscribers from one cable only.


3. No STB is required for FTA Channels.


4. a. CAS is yet to be implemented on Cable


5. If cable also goes digital with CAS, the audio and video quality will be as good as DTH. 

6. People, even in High-rise buildings can receive digital cable with same high quality video/audio for all channels.

7. Cable TV transmission is not at all susceptible to problematic atmospheric conditions.


8. Bandwidth. Bandwidth capacity is the highest on cable compared with DTH as well as DSL/ADSL. Cable provides the cheapest Broadband connection as the hardware costs have crashed. It’s a Proven technology.

9. Internet. Cable Networks are providing internet services since years.

10. Interactivity. Cable TV is already two- way, although not implemented everywhere as there was no need. Once CAS is implemented, the existing networks will be upgraded.

11. Future Services. Future technologies and value added services like Cable Telephony, Broadband, VOD, PPV, Digital Radio etc. can be implemented immediately.


12. Channel capacity is the highest on cable. Can accommodate more than 1000 channels on the same network.

13. Specific orbital slots is not a constraint for Cable TV.

14. No such constraint on Cable.


1. Cable Television service has been regulated by the Cable Television Network Regulations Act 1995 and further amendments.

2. Government has fixed a rate of Rs. 72/- Plus taxes for the FTA package of 33 channels on cable.

3. Content on Cable Networks is regulated and cable operators have been made responsible in that they can be prosecuted by a Class ‘A’ Officer if found violating the rules.


4. Lowest cost delivery platform.


5. Entertainment tax by the state governments varying between Rs.5 to Rs.50 and Service Tax by the central government at the rate of 12 percent has been levied on the consumers availing cable TV services.


6. All MSOs offering STBs at very low rent, from 50p to Re.1. STB can be returned to operator when leaving the area.( Sumangali and Hathway already give STB on rent at a low rate of Rs 18 per month).


7. Cable TV’s biggest trump card is localized programming.


8. Cable TV provides employment to more than 15 lakh people directly and many indirectly. Current situation of Government helping pay TV Broadcasters to exploit cable operators through unfavorable regulations will render all these people jobless.


9. STB. Customer has to buy STB only to watch pay channels costing around Rs. 1,500/- to Rs. 3,000.

10 Subscription. Customer can take on very low rental (Rs. 15 to 30 per month). He can also purchase at full price. (Both available) and subscription can be paid every month.

11 Maintenance of the home connection is done by the operator at no cost.


12. a. Customer has to pay for all channels in bouquet to the Cable Operator/MSO.

b. Customer can not choose channels individually.

c. No packages available. Full bundles (bouquet) has to be taken.

d. Customer has no choice without CAS.


13. a. No shortage of STB.

b. Customer is now used to buying STB.


14. Cable Operators available in local area to fix any problems.


1. Customers receive TV programs directly from the satellite using their own 90 cm dish antenna (customer has to buy Dish & STB).

2. a. For Zee TV “Dish TV” customer has to buy One small Dish and STB is pointed at one satellite to get all the available channels.

b. For Star TV “Tata-Sky” customer has to buy again a new small 90cm Dish and STB to watch Star channels. 

c. For Reliance DTH Blue Magic customer has to buy again a new small 90cm Dish and STB to watch Reliance package.

d. For Sun TV DTH customer has to buy again 90cm Dish and STB to watch Sun Channels.

e. For Doordarshan “Direct Plus” customer has to buy a Dish and STB.

f. If any other DTH comes customer has to buy a new Dish and STB again.

3. For FTA Channels STB is required.

4.a. CAS is already existing in the DTH system.

b. Broadband will also have inbuilt CAS.

5. Superior video and sound quality.

6. DTH requires line-of-sight for good reception. In City areas, there may not be a suitable place for fixing Dish.

7. DTH transmission easily gets effected due to rain, snow storm, and thunder storms, causing fading affecting TV reception, sometimes for more than 36 days in a year.

8. There is a bandwidth restriction on value added services on DTH. High bandwidth is very costly, not affordable.

9. DTH cannot provide internet unless telephone lines or satellite uplinks are used.

10. Two way DTH required for interactivity and broadband is not yet available. Technology not made commercial yet.

11. Bundling of future services on DTH very costly for the subscribers. Services are also limited at present.

12. Channel capacity on DTH is limited by transponder space on satellite. Increasing channels using new transponders or MPEG-4 technology will increase cost of delivery and thus service will be costly. MPEG-4 Set-Top-Boxes are also costly. 

13. DTH operators require good orbital slots to add channel capacity which may not be available.

14. As per DTH Guidelines, DTH can only be provided from an Indian Satellite. At present no satellite is available till the end of the year. So channel capacity is very limited.

1. No regulations for DTH service yet, only guidelines exist.

2. The same FTA package is being given free of cost to DD DTH consumers.

3. Content regulation is yet to be implemented on DTH, foreign channels.

4. Total cost of platform much higher, and hence services will likely be costlier for same Number of channels/service.

5. No Entertainment Tax.

6. STB not available on rent. Only open architecture STBs can be deployed which are costlier than ordinary STBs for cable.

7. Local programming on video channels not available on DTH.

8. Operated by Multinationals and large business houses directly for consumers. Since these operators are also pay TV broadcasters, their vested interests will always carry more weight than consumer interest.

9. Customer has to buy Set-top-Box costing about Rs 3,000/- to Rs. 7,000/-. To watch Pay Channels and FTA Channels.

10. Customer has to pay in advance for the DTH Set-top-Box. Even the subscription has to be paid in advance.

11. Maintenance of the equipment and realignment of dish etc. is done by a third party with additional cost.

12. a. Customer has to pay monthly subscription fee for pay channels.

b. Customer can choose channels individually.

c. Packages of choice channels available according to language, state, region.

d. Customer has choice with CAS.

13.a. 12 lakhs STB of Dish TV sold out.

b. 20 lakhs STB of Direct Plus sold out.



14. DTH is a centralized operation and would be a challenge to give continuous & prompt customer care given India’s scattered population.

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