DD offers to share DTT kitty with satellite channels

Doordarshan has decided to offer digital transmission television (DTT) platform to private satellite channels in the coming weeks.

After a hiatus of nearly two years, the public broadcaster commenced a pilot DTT project in Delhi last month, and plans to roll out similar facilities in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata shortly, according to a report in the Financial Express. Quoting Prasar Bharati CEO Anil Baijal, the report says that the pubcaster will be sending out an open invitation for partnerships in the next few weeks. "These partners could be broadcasters and even data transmission service providers," Baijal has said.

The channels that partner with DD will now have an option to bypass the cable op and beam high quality programmes to TV sets. The sets would however need to be fitted with decoders. The government has ordered nearly 100 decoder prototypes from Himachal Futuristic Communications Limited (HFCL), Baijal has been quoted as saying. Besides offering better picture quality, DTT would mean better use of spectrum and would allow Internet access in addition to other value added services, according to the official. Baijal feels the DTT platform could gradually be offered to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as well.

A business model will be worked out once the satellite channels wishing to partner DD are identified. Meanwhile, Prasar Bharati is drawing up plans for a phased rollout of DTT across the country. Bangalore and Pune are next on the launch map, according to Baijal. The next few years would see a transition phase in which analogue terrestrial transmission will co-exist with DTT.

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