Have you ever wondered why there is a big slot just above your subscriber card slot on your DTH set top box? Most of us might not have noticed the slot, but it is very well there on all set top boxes. The slot is meant to be used with a Customer Access Module (CAM) device, a PCMCIA type card which goes into your set top box and can enable it to be used with any DTH operator of your choice. According to TRAI‘s regulations, all set-top boxes sold by DTH service providers should be CAM-compliant.
Think of it as similar to mobile number portability. Only in this case, you switch your DTH operator. Here is how the system works:
The system does have a few limitations though:
This is how the CAM looks like:
In any case, this is awesome news for DTH subscribers across India. Currently TataSky’s HD+ set top box is the best out there in terms of features and storage capacity. However, TataSky has maxed out on their capacity to add any more HD channels than the 7 they already have on their platform. Other operators like Videocon D2H have much more HD channels, but their boxes are inferior. Users can now use TataSky’s set top box with such operators. This move will further spark competition in this already competitive segment. And any competition among the providers means more goodies for consumers :).
Dish TV’s CAM device branded as Dish Freedom will be available for INR 990 (pretty steep we know, but expect the prices to come down as other players launch theirs). In addition to the CAM price, the customers will have to pay anywhere between INR 100 – 150 to get their dishes re aligned to receive Dish TV’s signals.
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