MUMBAI: The countdown is well and truly on for Tata Sky Ltd, the
Tata-Star joint venture, to launch direct-to-home (DTH) services
Tata Sky announced today that it has signed an agreement with the
Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) to lease all 12 Ku-band
transponders on the Insat 4A satellite. These transponders will
be used by Tata Sky to provide about 150 channels in digital quality
to Indian homes, including those in the remote interiors.
the company, formerly called Space TV, announced its re-christening
to Tata Sky Ltd, and the branding of its DTH service as Tata Sky
(and not T-Sky as earlier announced).
"We will be launching our service with 150 channels,"
says Tata Sky Ltd CEO Vikram Kaushik.
On being queried as to how 150 channels could be offered with 12
Ku-band transponders, he refuses to spell out the compression technology
the company plans to use.
Industry experts say 10 channels can be comfortably squeezed in
per transponder. But with statistical multiplexing, Tata Sky can
be able to accommodate 150 channels, they add.
The other option to ramp up more channels in 12 Ku-band transponders
is to use MPEG-4 compression technology, but experts say the product
is not fully out yet in the market and the price is not attractive
at this stage.
The company is planning to launch its services in March-June 2006.
But aren't 8-10 clearances still to be obtained from various ministries?
"We expect to get all the clearances very soon," says