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Monday, November 13

Confessions of a DTH Viewer

Around 3 weeks back, the much talked about and debated DTH was there in my bed-room! Seems like I have been an early(relatively) adopter! Actually, my society secretary Mr. Gurnani is the real innovator:-) A circular landed in my flat one fine evening and I had three forced options to choose from - (1) Tata Sky, (2) Dish or (3) my existing unscrupulous cable guy(charging me 350 bucks for an ever dwindling set of channels!)

1.Brand Choice. The lousy Rediffusion advertising had nothing to do with my brand selection. The 'Tata' name did the trick, even though Dish( from Zee)was a parity offering,a lil cheaper and with an identical bouquet of channels!

2.Better Mouse-Trap. Now all the DTH promises made on Mumbai's skyline ring true. The picture quality is really DVD like. So is the sound even though I can't really differentiate on my old LG. And now I wonder how I was putting up with my cable wala for all this time!

I simply adore the convenience of a digital menu...

3.The 'Tyranny of Top 10'In the pre-DTH era I was a prisoner of the analog remote. I used to watch a disproportionate amount of content on the top 10 pre-fixed channels on my remote! And therefore Travel & Living at channel number 55 never got it's fair due!

DTH is more democratic w.r.t watching content.

4.Early adopters and laggards.I love the new DTH remote. My tech-unfriendly wife hates it and my father has ignored it till now. He still prefers to watch his daily dose of Zee soaps on the cable!

My wife says the remote is too complicated. Though it's not! I guess initially the kids and the men folk might take to DTH more easily than the women...

I also sense few behaviourial changes.

5. The DTH remote is playing the role of my TV organiser. I am a more active watcher now than I was in pre-DTH days. I feel more in control of the content that I consume daily.

6. Today. for a majority of the men-folk, news is the base genre. Even I used to passively watch endless loops of the same mediocre content. But with the DTH I have been watching more entertainment and lifestyle simply because I know where it's happening at any given point of time.

7. My hunch is 'Appointment Viewing' will be back in a big way. The guys that really must watch out should be the hype laden news channels which served as a base station for male viewers! And relied on attention arrest through gimmicks like breaking news!

In the near future, the DTH might lead to anti-dumbing/ smartening of content in a small way. There might be space for serious and intelligent channels like the BBC in the niche areas.

8. Bad days for advertisers. My guess is more advertising will be skipped than before as the DTH remote allows one to explore content across channels without changing one's current channel.

It's still early days. But I can see subtle changes in my TV viewing habits. Would love to hear from other DTH viewers elsewhere...Lets compare notes and stay aware.

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