Cable TV

DD to formally launch DTH on 16 December

NEW DELHI: Doordarshan's direct-to-home (DTH) service will formally be launched by prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh on 16 December at 6.30 pm in New Delhi.

DD Direct Plus, as the KU-band service is known, will initially offer 30 free-to-air television channels and 12 radio channels. Subscribers will not have to pay a monthly subscription fee as they are doing now to get their cable TV service. But they will have to invest around Rs 3,000-3,500 in a dish and a set-top box to receive the service.

Aaj Tak, Star Utsav, BBC, CNN, Sun TV, ETC Punjabi, Zee Music, Headlines Today, Smile TV, and Kairali TV are some of the private TV channels that will be on offer.

Despite a delay in the formal launch, DD Direct Plus has already sold over 200,000 set-top boxes. The target is to push the free service to a million subscribers by the end of 2005.

Dish TV, the other DTH service provider which is 20 per cent owned by Zee Telefilms, charges a monthly fee and claims to have a base of 160,000 subscribers. It offers, among others, the Zee-Turner bouquet and the ESPN and Star Sports channels. But Sony-Discovery and Star group of channels are not available on the Dish TV platform.

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