DSNG gaining popularity for Indian news channels

MUMBAI: Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) is becoming popular for all the news channels in India as the competition is on to be the first to broadcast live.

"Though it is an expensive solution, DSNG is catching on, even in India. The September 11 incident has particularly put news channels on the fast track," said Digital Broadcast India director (technical) B Sitaram, while speaking at the Broadcast India 2004 Technical Symposium on Tuesday.

There are other options like optical fibre and VSATs which are also being used. "Reliance Infocomm, Tata Indicom and BSNL have laid optic fibre which can be used as news gathering systems. But satellite news gathering is gaining popularity," said Sitaram.

The advent of efficient digital compression techniques makes it possible to reduce video data to a low volume (from 270 mbps to 1.5-50 mbps). Bandwidth requirement reduces, making it less expensive to gather news through satellite links. "This is the starting point for the popularity of DSNG," said Sitaram.

"Till a few years back, the transmission of TV signals through satellite was completely in analogue domain. Hence, bandwidth was an issue. Now we have efficient digital compression techniques," said Sitaram.

There are two frequency of operations in digital satellite news gathering - C-band and Ku-band. In India, the government permitted the use of Ku-band of frequencies for DSNG operations.

"New technologies are evolving, providing cost-effective alternatives. The demand from news channels is also driving down costs," said Sitaram.

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