DD Direct Plus plans to double capacity by March-end

NEW DELHI: The capacity of the country’s only free direct-to-home platform, DD Direct Plus, is expected to go up to 100 channels by 31 March 2011.

According to Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, the capacity will increase to 200 by 31 December 2011.
The Minister was emphatic in an informal interaction with the media that DD Direct Plus will remain free-to-air.

She also confirmed that DD Direct Plus will like other DTH players beam in high definition.

However, she said the plan under the Eleventh Plan to augment the capacity of the platform was still awaiting clearance.  
Earlier, Doordarshan Director General Aruna Sharma told that DD was just awaiting the clearance as it was ready with the infrastructure.
DD sources confirmed that around 90 television channels by 82 applicants are in the queue for being uploading on DD Direct Plus. These include some foreign channels.

The platform at present has a capacity of 59 channels while it presently beams 57 TV channels. The TV channels include 21 Doordarshan 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 NDTV, IBN 7, TV 24, NE TV Group, Sakshi TV, ZEE, Sahara, 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.

Earlier this year, Soni had denied that any television channels had withdrawn from DD Direct Plus. She said DD Direct Plus signals were available in the entire country except the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

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