Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has now introduced a new web application to make the channel selection process for DTH and cable users easier. The Channel Selector Application will help users optimise the selection of their choice and also inform them about the MRP (Maximum Retail Price) of their selection. The application takes you through various steps, and then curates a list of channels based on your preference selection. You can select the channels of your choice, and know your monthly rental through this application. As announced earlier, January 31 is the last date for migrating to a fresh DTH or cable package as per TRAI's new rules.
This new Channel Selector Application will help users decide the best channels for them that suite their budget easily. It is designed to help consumers make an informed decision. To use this application, head here. Click on the 'Get Started' button at the bottom of the page, and answer a few questions to enter the channel selection page. TRAI asks your name, your state of residence, your genre preference, and then shows a list of channels based on your preference. Users can then select the channels they want in their monthly plan, and leave out the ones they do not watch. TRAI will keep calculating your monthly rental based on your selection.
You can then view your rental amount details by selecting the 'View Selection' button on the top right of the page. This page shows you the breakup of free channel and paid channels, the total amount you are paying for the paid channels, GST tax, and the network capacity fees (NFC) payable to the DTH service provider. The total monthly MRP is then shown at the bottom, along with the list of channels chosen by the user, and the list of free channels that are mandatory.
The Channel Selector Application has many filters including price, HD/SD, genre, broadcaster, and language. You can customise your filter based on your needs easily. This application is really helpful for those who are finding it a task to switch to this new framework imposed by TRAI. There's also an Optimise button on the View Selection page that gives you a cheaper package, curated by TRAI, based on the selections made by the user.
Apart from this, users can also check details for the new system on the consumer information channel on channel #999 or the respective company website. Except for Tata Sky, pretty much all cable and DTH operators, including the likes of DishTV, Airtel Digital TV, and Hathaway, have declared the channel prices and bouquet details and established mechanisms to make it easier for the consumers to migrate to the new system. The consumers can visit the website or the official app of the respective DTH or cable operator to know more about the new packages as well as to select their new packages using the operator's online tools.
TRAI had originally announced the new regulatory framework in March 2017 and it went into effect on December 29, 2018. However, the agency later extended the date of migration to the new framework to January 31. It recently clarified that consumers have the option to choose channels on a-la-carte basis for the base pack of 100 SD channels. According to the regulator, the consumers can either choose free-to-air channels, pay channels, bouquet of pay channels or any combination thereof for the base pack. The base pack without any paid channels will cost just Rs. 130 (Rs. 153.40 after taxes). If a consumer adds any paid channels, they will have to pay the price of that channel.