DD launches portal, albeit a little late

National pubcaster Doordarshan finally launched its online portal yesterday in Delhi after nearly six months of dilly-dallying about the launch date. A joint initiative between DD and Satyam Infoway, contains national and international news, which is updated round-the-clock.

Earlier the web portal was scheduled to be launched in beginning of year 2001, a plan which was postponed due to the torrid times in the dot com world., at launch, is not fully functional. Nor is it very different from other horizontal portals. A surf through the site revealed that at least four five links either led to a dead end, or led to the same page from which a click through was being attempted on a link. For example, the link leading to information about Doordarshan, did not open at all. While trying to access the convergence section, clicking on a link still lead to national and international news. The video on demand service did not seem to be fully operational, and DD officials have mentioned that the launch date for it is sometime away. Even the TV Guide was not working when journos tried to access it. It appears as though DD and Sify officials were pushed into launching it prematurely. What the pressures were they only know.

However, despite that the site appears to be well-designed. The index page has a marquee (a scroll) just below the logo running the latest news across the page. Click on the marquee and a specific news item will open up in detail.

The DD's foray into the web came on the heels of the recommendations of the Shunu Sen Committee report which advised that DD needed to get into the latest technology without any further delay.

About Rs 25 million has been invested into building up the site. Doordarshan also has other plans to launch similar websites for Doordarshan Sports and DD World channels.

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