Technology

DD Direct Plus augmentation to cost Rs 554 million

NEW DELHI: The augmentation of the capacity of the country’s only free direct-to-home platform DD Direct Plus to 97 channels will cost Rs 554.3 million.


The augmentation in the first phase will be completed on 31 March 2011.


The plan is to increase DD Direct Plus‘ capacity to 200 by the end of the financial year 2011-12.
 
The platform currently has a capacity of 59 channels while it presently beams 57 TV channels, apart from 21 channels of All India Radio. The TV channels include 21 Doordarshan channels.


Earlier, Doordarshan Director General Aruna Sharma told indiantelevision.com that DD was just awaiting the clearance as it was ready with the infrastructure.


DD sources told indiantelevision.com that around 90 television channels by 82 applicants are in the queue for being uploaded on DD Direct Plus. These include some foreign channels. 
 
The oldest of these applications was made on 7 March 2007 while the latest was made on 12 April this year.
Apart from many other channels, some of the applicants include TV24, NE TV Group, Sakshi TV and Star News.


The channels include three foreign channels: Japan’s NHK TV, Korean Broadcasting Corporation and Deutsche Welle. Around ten more foreign channels are expected to join soon.


The annual carriage fee that broadcasters have to pay has also been lowered to just Rs 2.5 million from the earlier Rs 10 million, apart from a service tax of Rs 300,000. However, foreign broadcasters have to pay a carriage fee of Rs 5 million.


Being an FTA channel, DD Direct only has a one-time charge for dish antennae, set-top box and installation ranging between Rs 4,000 to Rs 8,000 depending on the brand chosen by the consumer.


The country has six private DTH platforms that are operational – Dish TV, Tata Sky, Big TV, Sun Direct, Airtel Digital TV and Videocon D2H. After the guidelines for DTH being issued on 15 March 2001, the sector has grown and at present has about 21.3 million subscribers.

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