I&B proposes Rs 14 bn for digitisation of DD & AIR

NEW DELHI: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has prepared a proposal for Rs 8 billion to All India Radio and Rs 6 billion to Doordarshan for completing digitisation which will be shortly placed before the Cabinet, according to a senior government official.

The Government is confident of meeting its deadline of complete digitisation of the electronic media by 2017, the I&B official adds.

The United States had set a deadline of 2009 but had not been able to complete digitisation while China has also set a deadline of 2017.

Doordarshan and AIR, which were beaming terrestrially to reach all over the country, had stepped up the process of digitisation. 
Earlier, Doordarshan had set aside an amount of Rs 12.09 billion out of a total approved outlay of Rs 13.69 billion just for digitisation in the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2012).

The official says the work will involve digitisation of existing studios, establishment of digital transmitters, replacement and augmentation of old studio, transmitter and satellite broadcast equipment and setting up of High Definition TV (HDTV) facilities.

Digitisation will free up spectrum currently used for analogue transmission, allowing more channels to come in. There is a possibility that extra spectrum could be used by Doordarshan in a partnership model for revenue generation.

Two HDTV studios will be established by Doordarshan in Delhi and Mumbai, and field production and post production facilities in four metros. The HDTV uplink will be set up at Delhi, and HDTV terrestrial transmitters will be installed in four metros. Doordarshan expects to broadcast the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi on HDTV. 
Out of 66 studio centres, 23 have either already been digitised, or are being digitized. 39 studio centers, which are partially digitised or analogue, are planned to be fully digitised in the 11th Plan (by 2012). The remaining four analogue studios are proposed to be digitised in the 12th Plan.

The government plans to take up 40 locations where analogue High Power Transmitters are operational for setting up of Digital terrestrial transmitters (DTT) in the country. Fourteen obsolete High Power TV transmitters (UPTs) and 60 Lower Power TV transmitters (LPTs) will be replaced.

Satellite Earth Stations will be modernized using Digital Satelliter News Gathering (DSNG) in the 11th Plan.

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