DTH ops to launch HDTV in time for Commonwealth Games

NEW DELHI: Even as Prasar Bharati has announced plans to start beaming in High Definition by the time of the Commonwealth Games in October this year, major private DTH players like Dish TV, Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV said they would be launching HD services within the next couple of months.

Dish TV chief operating officer Salil Kapoor said, "We are currently evaluating the market and would launch the HD service in the first quarter of next fiscal."
Airtel Digital Marketing Head Sugato Banerjee told that it was too early to say how much the consumer would be made to pay, but it was clear that huge costs would be involved.

The set-top boxes were bound to be more expensive. "Money would also go into more sophisticated uplinking facilities, and the cost will also go up because each HD channel takes five times the space of a normal satellite channel," said Banerjee. 
Tata Sky also will be introducing interactive channels in the gaming and education space and promote personal video recorder (PVR) STBs following an increasing demand by families trying to keep up with their favourite programmes. Since all channels offer similar programming, it will be the value added services that will help the DTH players, it is felt.

The country today has seven players in the DTH sphere, the others being Dish TV, Sun Direct, Airtel Digital TV, Big TV, Videocon D2H and DD Direct Plus.

Samsung, LG and Sony are ready to launch full HD televisions in India.

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