Pakistan finalizes minimum standards for digital cable STBs

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016 
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Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) finalizes minimum standards for digital cable set-top boxes

ISLAMABAD — In pursuance of PEMRA’s endeavor to meet the cable TV Digitalization deadline of September 30, 2016 and to ensure the maximum facilitation and protection of subscribers’ rights, PEMRA has finalized the minimum standards / specifications for Digital cable TV set-top boxes.

The technical standards/specifications of Digital Set Top boxes have been drafted in line with international practices to safeguard the legitimate objective such as quality of service, uninterrupted operation of equipment, safety and competitiveness. The set-top box shall be compatible with and ensure compliance with the minimum technical standards as prescribed by the Authority.

PEMRA in its customized standards has made it compulsory for all cable operators and equipment providers to meet certain performance and audio/video decoding requirements, equipment conformity, electronic program guide and logical channel numbering, etc.

Once the draft standards are approved by the Authority in its upcoming meeting on March 30th, the same shall be available on PEMRA website for easy access of stakeholders including the public and subscribers.

Moreover, PEMRA is already pursuing Federal Govt., FBR and provincial governments to facilitate cable TV digitalization by offering Tax Holidays and exemptions on import of Digitalization equipment thus facilitating cable operators in meeting Digitalization deadline of September 30, 2016. The Chairman PEMRA has also held a meeting with the Chief Minister Punjab last week, whereas, a meeting with the Federal Finance Minister is scheduled next week to fetch maximum support for the cable operators converting to digitalization.