20 February, 2009

The cable guy

My father often speaks with our cable company. The conversation which I get to hear usually runs like this:
"What boss, it has been 4 days since xyz was released in the cinemas and you still have not shown it on cable? (silence) tell me this, do I have to go to the cinema to watch this now? or wait for the DVD release? (silence)And make sure the print is good. Like Tata sky", including the last bit to remind him that he remains a fickle customer and knows about competition arriving now in India.
I am always surprised by cable television in India. There are about 120 channels which I get, including about 30 regional ones. Almost all of them are junk, but then I can get this junk for about $4 a month, compared to about $50 in the UK.
And yes, the movie which is asked for, is featured, especially if it is a new one. I do think that this is completely legal, but I am not sure. Increasingly, these cablewallahs are also getting more tech savvy. This one in Gurgaon has an interface where he shows the program for the next day. He also plays background music and shows movie trailers between two movies. Quite a far cry from about ten years ago when a cablewallah uncle went to prison for a day or so. He was playing a movie, which was recorded on top of an adult movie. So when the movie finished, the tape went on to play a full fledged adult movie at 3pm in the afternoon. Prime time for senior citizens (unhappy), school boys (very happy, jumped at the mute button), school girls (shocked) and school mothers (tearful). I am not sure how many people complained, but many did.

(Why does it feel like today is someone's birthday? Ok so thanks to facebook and orkut i have a list of 200 people, let me check.hmm)


Siddharth said...

I don't think it's legal to play movies on cable when they have just been released.

Such rampant piracy is one of the things I love about India.

sonia said...

Folks in ncr region are blessed , everyone in Delhi specially south had to convert to set top boxes...... Funny part is badri - my help at home has managed to get some amazing cable connection which plays all the recent movies ,videos and music...... that too commercial free.....for every tv lover thats just amazing....

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