Bharti Airtel’s Digital TV arm Airtel Digital TV today rolled out a service update to the set-top boxes of its Internet TV boxes. The service update has been rolled out by Airtel to test 4 digit LCN on its Internet TV boxes. Currently, Airtel is using a 3 digit LCN system. The service provider has added a test channel named Airtel Testing on its Internet TV boxes to test the 4 digit LCN. The channel is currently available on LCN 1200. It has been added to the old SES 7 TPs.
Airtel Home channels feed is being currently used on LCN 1200 to test the slot. The EPG of the channel is said to have been showing recharge information this afternoon. Internet TV STB is said to have earlier not supported 4 digit LCN while other boxes did support. Tata Sky and Dish TV are currently the only two DTH operators to use 4 digit LCN system. Other operators such as d2h, Airtel, and Sun Direct are all currently using the 3 digit LCN system.
The number of licensed television channels has been on the rise with the number of permitted channels at the end of May more than 900. The high number of news channels in the market has left Airtel short on LCNs to accommodate Hindi News channels. The testing of 4 digit LCN could be the precursor to Airtel switching to 4 digit LCN from 3 digit LCN.
The new tariff order in order to curb the practice to frequently change LCN numbers mandates that LCN numbers once allocated will not be changed for the duration of at least one year. Whether the DTH operator can immediately change to a 4 digit LCN system remains to be seen.