NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet has approved a Rs 1.65 billion plan that will allow Doordarshan to upgrade to high definition (HDTV) format.
The funding will be met from the Eleventh Plan Allocation of Prasar Bharati.
All the equipment will have to be imported and the total foreign exchange component involved in respect of the HDTV equipment will be about Rs 1.6 billion. The balance Rs 50 million is recurring expenditure for project implementation and spectrum charges.
The Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given the nod to a pilot scheme which has to be completed before the start of the Commonwealth Games next year.
Though the uplinking Though the uplinking facility and some of the production, preview and playout facilities will be completed before 2010 to facilitate transmission of the Games in HDTV format through DTH and cable TV network, the entire project is expected to be completed by March 2012. As there are nine different inter-dependent projects in the scheme, all the projects cannot be implemented simultaneously.
While Doordarshan as the host broadcaster is in the process of finalising the entity for the production and coverage of the Games, the basic feed (World Feed) in HDTV would be generated by Doordarshan itself.
Doordarshan has formulated a scheme which envisages development of facilities of terrestrial as well as satellite transmission of HDTV content besides setting up HD Production facilities at Delhi and Mumbai. A facility for uplinking the HDTV signal from Delhi is also proposed to be established.
The HDTV programmes generated would be uplinked on satellite so that the signal can be downlinked by cable operators for further distribution. The downlinked signal can also be used as contribution link by Doordarshan for terrestrial transmission of the signal through digital transmitters installed in the four metro cities. In addition to this, the four terrestrial HDTV transmitters are to be provided for relaying the programme at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata so that the viewers having HD ready TV sets can view the programmes.
It is also proposed to provide complete High Definition studio production, Electronic News Gathering (ENG) and field production and post-production facilities at Doordarshan Kendra, Delhi and Mumbai. The programme uplink facility through satellite would be provided using the latest compression techniques. Such compression techniques will also be used for inclusion of the HDTV channel in the existing direct-to-home (DTH) platform of Doordarshan.
The set-top boxes to receive these HDTV channels would be based on MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and any other latest compression techniques available so that the signals can be suitable decoded.
HDTV provides resolution that is four to five times higher than that provided by Standard Definition TV (SDTV) available at present. Aspect ratio (ratio between length and breadth of the TV screen) is 16:9, compared to 4:3 of SDTV, and it is capable of providing 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound, thus giving a movie-like experience to the viewers at home.
As reported first in Indiantelevision.com, Prasar Bharati has already issued the Request for Proposal to five companies including Reliance ADAG’s Big Productions and Nimbus Communications which had been shortlisted for production and coverage facilities for the Commonwealth Games next year on behalf of host broadcaster Doordarshan.