Understanding The TRAI Channel Selector Application

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We've witnessed a rush of mobile applications in recent months that try to make our lives easier. For example, there are multiple applications that help us manage our time and what we consume.

Following this trend, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India recently released the Channel Selector application for its customers. The app's goal is to provide users with control over their television consumption.

In this article, we have provided all the information related to this application and how the use of this app can not only save you money, it will also ensure you don’t go overboard with the amount of television you watch on a daily basis.

TRAI’s application will auto curate the channels and offer you a cheaper package.

What Is The TRAI Channel Selector App?

Consumers are concerned that their expenditures had increased after TRAI issued new tariff guidelines that affected the price of channels as well as channel packages. The entire objective of changing tariffs was to assist customers in making informed decisions about which channels to use in order to save money. But, unfortunately, the reverse happened and customers were extremely unhappy.

The app was created since many customers were having issues acquiring channel subscriptions through the online page and the applications of various Distribute Platform Operators (DPOs).

As a result, TRAI’s Channel Selector app is created in such a manner that users will find it extremely simple to choose channels as well as channel packages for them. The program gathers data from multiple DPOs and makes it accessible to clients, allowing them to buy channels straight through it.

The TRAI Channel Selector app is available on both iOS and Android. As a result, the user may go to the Play Store or Apple Store to install the app. As of today, the app includes data from all major DTH carriers, including Airtel Digital TV, Tata Sky, Hathway Digital, D2h, Asianet, InDigital, Dish TV, and Citi Network.

Customers may use the app to select the channels as well as channel packages they want while keeping expenditures to a minimum.

How Does The TRAI Channel Sector App Work?

Cable companies and DTH providers exchange an application programming interface (API), or a system of protocols and tools for developing applications, with the government, enabling the TRAI Channel Selector app to get data for users. The software is free to download from app stores. This is how it actually works:

Step 1: After downloading, a drop-down menu displays a list of service providers. Tata Sky, Airtel, Dish TV, and D2H are among the DTH providers linked to the app. Moreover, Asianet, Hathway Digital, InDigital, and Siti Networks are among the main multi-system providers that have merged with the app.

Step 2: When a service provider, in this example Tata Sky, is chosen, a log-in screen appears, allowing consumers to enter their registered cellphone number, subscription number, or set-box number. This is really a two-factor authentication procedure.

After entering subscriber information, the user is given a one-time password to use to access the subscription page. This section contains an overview of the set-top box information, overall number of channels, monthly cost, packages chosen, a-la-carte channels, plus free-to-air channels.

Step 3: Customers can add or delete channels from their plans using the ‘View My Plan' feature on this page.

According to sources, TRAI has been operating a version of the channel selection on its website since early last year. At the moment, most DTH and cable TV network operators have their own applications that provide comparable functions such as channel selection, adding or deleting channels and packages, and adjusting subscription fees based on channel selection.

Nevertheless, in August 2020, TRAI requested that all Distributed Platform Operators (DPOs) submit the APIs for this app with them in order to decrease uncertainty and consolidate everything onto a common platform.

How To Get The TRAI Channel Selector App?

The TRAI Channel Selector app is now available for download on both the Google Play Store as well as the App Store. The TV channel selection app may also be downloaded from the TRAI website. Simply scan the QR code for the app to be sent to the download.

Why The Application Is Good For Consumers

The application is attempted to provide the best value to users. When a consumer picks her preferred pay channels, the app optimizes the bouquet to incorporate more channels that could be included within that cost.

  • For instance, suppose a user creates a regional pay channel package composed of Malayalam stations. The optimizer will choose between free-to-air Malayalam channels and a bouquet that contains the specified paid channels in the very same language at the same price.
  • If a consumer chooses English News premium channels, the optimizer will also include free-to-air channels in that section.

It essentially seeks to maximize the number of channels that a client may access at the same or lower cost. The final decision is communicated to the service provider.

Due to the issue of privacy, the TRAI Chairperson assured users that their data will not be collected and shared with the organization.

How Do TRAI's New Cable & DTH Guidelines Work?

According to the TRAI application, beginning February 1, 2019, a customer's bill to their DTH as well as cable operator included two aspects.

One being the Network Capacity Fee (NCF), which will be charged on a monthly basis. This is limited to Rs 130. According to TRAI, this is "similar to a leasing price for the TV connection to your house."

The other is the cost of any pay channels chosen from a pack of 100 or more TV channels. Please remember that there is also an 18% GST.

To provide an example, if a customer selects 100 channels in their monthly package, 30 of which have been paid, and the overall cost of these 30 paid channels is Rs 60, their bill will be Rs 130 (network capacity fee) + Rs 60 for the paid channels + 18% GST.

According to TRAI, customers can choose any Free To Air (FTA) channel, paid channel, or a package(s) of paid channels.

Those who select over 100 channels might pay an additional Rs 20 for an additional 25 channel capacity. According to TRAI, if a user selects 110 channels, they would be charged a network capacity cost of not more than Rs 150 (Rs 130 + Rs 20) every month. Those who wish to see 150 channels must pay an additional 20 rupees for the 125-150 channel bracket.

TRAI further states that its Channel Selection tool displays the monthly MRP of all paid channels in rupees. A customer does not even have to pay any additional fees to access free channels. There are 534 free channels available.

Customers could also go to channel #999 on their set-top box to learn more about the new deals from their DTH or cable provider. Apart from Tata Sky, practically every cable as well as DTH companies, such as DishTV, Airtel Digital TV, Hathaway, Sun Direct and others, provide information on their websites regarding new channel rates, packages, and also how to pick a package of 100, etc.

Conclusion

There are a plethora of channels that almost every DTH provider offers. There are many consumers who don’t watch over half of the channels they have chosen for their package regularly.

In such cases, the consumers are basically paying for channels they don’t actually watch. Hence, by using TRAI’s Channel Selector application, you can create the perfect package for yourself, thereby paying only for what you consume!

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