28 December 2018
Today is the day when Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) new framework for DTH and cable services comes into effect. As per TRAI, the new framework gives viewers the freedom of selecting and paying only for those channels they are interested in. It is further said to reduce the monthly bill as compared to what the viewers were paying previously. While this particular claim is under debate for the moment and will likely vary for each viewer, we are here to help you understand the whole process of selecting channels and how you can create your own pack.
It should be noted that TRAI's new rules are applicable to all the DTH and cable service providers in the country. It means no matter whether you use DishTV, Tata Sky, Airtel, D2h, SUN, Den Cable, Hathway or any other service, you will have to choose channels and create a package. This is something regarding which even your particular service provider will also contact you.
To start off the channel package selection process, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. The very first thing is that no matter what pack you create, it will consist of a base pack. This base pack can include up to 100 channels for which you will have to pay Rs. 130 excluding taxes which is around Rs. 154 including taxes. TRAI is referring to this as Network Capacity Fee (NCF) which is mandatory for every customer to pay. If you want to add more channels than those 100, you can do so but you will have to pay an additional Rs. 20 NCF for every 25 channels. Another important thing to keep in mind is that one HD channel will be counted as two SD channels.
By default, the base pack will consist of 100 free to air (FTA) channels including 25 compulsory Doordarshan channels. It means for the remaining 75 channels, it will be up to you whether you want all FTA channels or you want to replace any or all of them with paid channels. It is worth noting that for each paid channel, you will have to pay the price of that particular channel which will be in addition to the NCF.
For selecting paid channels, you can do this in two ways: À la carte and Channel Bouquets. The first method is all about picking each channel individually where no channel can cost more than Rs. 19. It goes without saying all of the good channels like Star Plus, Sony, Colors, Zee TV, Star Sports, and Sony TEN cost the maximum.
The second method of channel bouquets includes various bouquets (groups) where select channels are offered together for a relatively discounted price. These bouquets have been created by respective channel broadcasters with names like Hindi Value, Hindi Premium, Zee Family Pack, Zee All-in-1 Pack, and Happy India Platinum. It is safe to say that your monthly bill is likely to get cheaper with channel bouquets as compared to selecting each channel individually.
Now that you have understood the whole channel selection process, all you need to do is to visit your particular DTH/cable service provider's official website or smartphone app. As soon as you will log-in using your account details, you will see an option to get started with creating your package. While doing so, your service provider will show all the channel/bouquet names and prices. Once the package has been created, it will also give you a complete breakdown of your potential monthly bill including the number of channels, pricing, taxes, and NCF. You will also be free to make changes (adding or removing channels) to your package at anytime you want. Additionally, even TRAI has a dedicated website and app to help you create your package.
If you have any other doubts or questions regarding the new channel selection process introduced by TRAI, feel free to ask them in the comments section below.