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Conditional-Access-System CAS Area Settop-box Pay & Free Channels Subscription Other Info Cable TV
  Settop Box, Satellite Box, Hardware for CAS

Question 1:- What is a `set top box’ ?
Answer:-“Set top box”(STB) means a device, which is connected to a television set at the subscribers’ premises and which allows a subscriber to view encrypted pay channels of his choice on payment. The basic function of the Set Top Box is to decrypt the signals of those pay channels which the subscriber has been authorized by the multi system operator to receive and to convert the digital signals into analogue mode for viewing on television sets.
Question 2 :- What is a smart card or viewing card ? How is a subscriber given authorization in CAS?
Answer:-A smart card or a viewing card essentially functions like an ATM Card and comes along with the Set Top Box and allows the signals of only those pay channels to be seen which the subscriber has contracted to pay for a particular period.
Question 3:-Does one have to buy a new smart card if one wants to change the subscription to pay channels (i.e., opt for a different pay channel) ?
Answer:-No. Since in CAS subscriber is addressable, a subscriber has to only intimate the change in package to the multi system operator directly or through the Cable Operator, the multi system operator can change the privileges attached to the viewing card or smart card attached to the Set Top Box.
Question 4:- Will the Set Top box allow free to air channels to be received in the Television set ? Does one require a set top box to view only Free to Air Channels?
Answer :The installation of Set Top Box to view pay channels will not prevent the free to air channels also to be received by the subscriber along with the pay channels to which he has subscribed for. In case if a subscriber does not want any pay channel to be subscribed and wants to view only FTA channels, he need not have a set top box attached to his television set.
Question 5:-Where and from whom can I get a Set Top Box? Answer:-
The following options are available to the subscriber
i) A subscriber is free to get a Set Top Box on a rental basis from the Multi System Operator under a Standard Tariff Package prescribed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority or under any alternative tariff package offered by the multi system operator. The details of the Standard Tariff Package are given elsewhere in this FAQs.
ii) A subscriber is also free to buy outright the set top boxes from the Multi system operator.
iii) A subscriber can opt to purchase a set top box outright from the open market if available. It has to be ensured that it is as per the specifications of Bureau of Indian Standards and technically compatible with the multi system operator’s system.
Question 6:-What do I have to do to get the Set Top Box?
Answer:-A subscriber has to make an application in a format prescribed by the multi system operator /Cable operator and comply with the formalities as required in the
application to get a set top box. Alternatively, a subscriber can purchase a Set Top Box from the open market, if available. As per the requirements of QOS regulation one can make an application commencing from 15th October 2006 subject to the readiness of the Multi System Operator to accept applications.
Question 7:- Where and how one can know as to what the BIS specifications are; places from where I can get the boxes from the open market; and whether the Conditional Access System of a purchased box is compatible with the Multi System Operator ?
Answer:-For the purpose of facilitating the subscribers the Quality of Service Regulation of 23rd August 2006 and the Tariff Order of 31st August 2006 issued by TRAI has provided that the multi system operator shall publicise the sources, models and the procedure for obtaining the Set Top Boxes. He is also required to publicize the schemes including the standard tariff package prescribed by TRAI. The multi system operators have been required to conduct a public awareness campaign for a period of 30 days commencing from 15th October 2006. In case of difficulty you can get in touch with the Nodal Officer appointed by the State Government or the Multi System Operator of your area either directly or through the Cable Operator in your neighbourhood.
Question 8: - What are the details of the Standard Tariff Package prescribed by Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) of India for Set Top Boxes (STBs) ?
Answer:-Vide its Tariff order dated 31.8.2006, TRAI has provided for a Standard Tariff Package for supply of STBs. The package provides that every multi system operator / cable operator in a CAS area shall compulsorily offer to the subscribers both Option I (Rental of Rs.30 P.M+ Refundable security Deposit of Rs.999/-) and Option II (Rental of Rs.45 P.M+ Refundable security Deposit of Rs.250/- ) as a standard tariff package (STP). No monthly rental will be payable after 5 years and the Set Top Box will become the property of the subscriber
Question 9:- Can I return the Set Top Box taken on Rental Basis?
Answer:-Yes, one can return the Set Top Box taken on rental Scheme under the Standard Tariff Package within a period of five years, provided the set top box has not been tampered with. On return of the Set Top Box under the Standard Tariff Package, Multi System Operator is entitled to make a deduction @ Rs. 12.50 / Rs 3.00 per month of use on account of depreciation from the security deposit under option I or option II respectively. However, where a subscriber has already taken a Set Top Box under the Standard Tariff Package and takes a refund after surrendering the Set Top Box then that subscriber will not be entitled to a new Set Top Box under the Standard Tariff Package (from the same service provider) unless he/she is shifting residence to another city or to another area in the same city where the service is not available from the same multi system operator. The details are available on TRAI’s website .
Question 10:- In how many days will I get the refund of security deposit in case of return of Set Top Box taken under Rental Scheme?
Answer:-In cases where a customer chooses to return a set top box, the refund of security deposit, if any, shall be made within seven days as per the prescribed scale. This will not apply to cases of return of set top box where it is found that the set top box returned has been tampered with by the subscriber. In such cases the cable operator /MSO shall inform the subscribers within 4 weeks about their decision in the matter.
Question 11:- What are the remedies if set top box supplied by the Multi System Operator malfunctions?
Answer: In cases where there is a malfunction of a set top box supplied, by a cable operator / MSO, then he will arrange for repair or replacement, (without any extra charge upto five years) as the case may be, within 24 hours of receipt of the complaint ofmalfunctioning. This will not apply to cases of complaints of malfunctioning where the set top box has been tampered with by the subscriber.
Question 12:- Is the Standard Tariff Package the only package?
Answer:-No. In addition to the Standard Tariff Package containing two options as mentioned in answer to Question No 12 to be compulsorily offered to the subscriber, a multi system operator / cable operator is free to offer alternative tariff packages (ATP) which the subscribers can choose from.
Question 13: Has TRAI prescribed any scheme for outright purchase of Set Top Boxes?
Answer:-TRAI has not prescribed any scheme for outright purchase from open market or from the MSO.
Question 14:- Whether any charges are to be paid for installation, repairs etc. of the STBs at the place specified by the subscriber ?
Answer:-No charges for activation, installation, smart cards, and repairs (upto five years) are to be paid by the subscribers either in the standard tariff package or in the alternative tariff package.

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