Demand for encryption of DD Signals faces rejection

NEW DELHI: The demand for setting encryption mandates for Doordarshan’s terrestrial signals is likely to be rejected by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, with consensus eluding the technical sub-group studying the issue.

Ministry sources told that encryption could mean a major policy shift since Doordarshan was a public broadcaster with free-to-air signals and it would be unethical to restrict the reach of its signals in any way. The Ministry also feels that since many of Doordarshan’s 1400 transmitters are unmanned, they would first have to be given manpower which can decode or encrypt the signals.

This may also create problems for cable operators since Doordarshan is covered by the must-carry clause in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 and the cable operators have to show this channel. Furthermore, the DD Direct set top boxes which reach around four million households are not equipped to handle encryption as this direct-to-home platform is free to air.


The sub-group headed by All India Radio Director-General Brajeshwar Singh to study the issue had already submitted its report. Earlier, a draft report had been circulated among the members in an effort to arrive at a consensus but the report was submitted in the absence of any commonality.

The Ministry had been informed of the difference of opinion even as the matter was under consideration, and had widened the mandate before the sub-group to reject encryption or consider other options wherever necessary.


The sub-group, which met over the weekend, is also reported to have rejected the offer made by the Board of Control for Cricket in India that the cricket body would undertake cost of around Rs twenty million for the encryption of all DD transmitters.

BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah had told last month that it was prepared to undertake the cost of encryption which could be completed in about two weeks.

The report would now be placed before various stakeholders and the Ministry may attempt to arrive at a consensus. But sources said this may not be easy since the report had dealt more with the difficulties attached to encryption rather than giving its view on whether this should be done.

The idea of setting mandates for the encryption was suggested after private broadcasters said sharing live sporting events with DD leads to piracy. The Union Cabinet had suggested while setting up the sub-group that DD signals should be encrypted in a manner that only DD’s terrestrial transmitting centres receive the feeds.

The Ministry also feels that it is not in public interest for private channels to refuse to share their sports signals with the public broadcaster since all those receiving TV signals terrestrially would be deprived of seeing World Cup matches.

During his reply to the discussion on the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Bill, the Minister had said it was not safe for the public broadcaster to de-code all its 1,400 DD transmitters together as it would affect ‘the public service obligation’ of the channel.

ESPN Star, Nimbus and Zee, among other broadcasters had demanded that DD signals be encrypted as the public broadcaster had a reach spanning a vast area from West Asia to Singapore. The Cabinet had also asked the technical committee to meet the stakeholders ESPN Star, ZEE, Nimbus, and BCCI and find out a common device to protect the signal which cannot be pirated abroad.


Latest Reads
India, China to propel APAC, beat CAS Europe market share

APAC is expected to overtake the market share of Europe in future due to an increasing demand for digital TV set-up boxes in countries such as China and India. North America and Europe dominated the global CAS market in 2015. APAC region is estimated to mark a growth rate of 12.0 per cent CAGR...

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
India lucrative market for 4K UHD STBs: Grand View Research

Here’s a view on the demand for 4K or ultra high definition (UHD) set-top boxes (STBs) in India.

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
Infor appoints Dass as south Asian subcontinent V-P

Infor, a leading provider of business applications specialized by industry and built for the cloud, has appointed Ashish Dass as the vice president and managing director for the south Asian subcontinent. Infor software helps eliminate the need for costly customization through embedded deep...

Technology Software Applications
Siti & DishTV opt for Conax conditional access

The Essel group has been using Conax’s tech for sometime now for its Siti Network (earlier known as Siti Cable). Now the group has extended that partnership for another product for both Siti Network and DTH operator Dish TV India. This time it is for the cardless set top boxes that the two are...

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
Imagine Communications extends functionality of Selenio One unified transcoding platform to OTT

MUMBAI: Imagine Communications, empowering the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation, today introduced a high-density adaptive bitrate (ABR) transcoding product built on Selenio One™, the company’s software-defined linear transcoding platform. Selenio One is designed...

Technology Hardware Components
DJI Makes Your Smartphone Smarter with the New Osmo Mobile

DJI, the world leader in creative camera technology, Thursday launched the Osmo Mobile, an extension for smartphones that turns them into intelligent, precision camera systems.

Technology Hardware Components
Prime Focus Tech gets funding from PE firm Ambit Pragma

MUMBAI: Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) – the technology offshoot of media services company Prime Focus - informed the Bombay stock exchange today that it had received its first round of funding from growth capital private equity fund Ambit Pragma.

Technology Software Applications
Three new products developed by C-DOT launched on its Foundation Day

Communications Minister Manoj Sinha today expressed the hope that 100,000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) will be connected through Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) by March next to set up a network infrastructure to serve the rural masses.

Technology Hardware Distribution
Genpact and BITS partner to build talent in the field of analytics

Genpact (NYSE: G), a global leader in digitally-powered business process management and services, today announced a partnership with premier technical education university Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) for offering training programs in the field of analytics.

Technology Software Middleware

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories