's Perspectives

FAQs regarding DTH


(Posted on 11 March 2004)

Some FAQs regarding DTH which you always wanted to know and didn't know who to ask...

How is DTH (Direct to Home) service different from existing cable TV service?

DTH is an encrypted transmission that travels to the consumer directly through a satellite. DTH transmission is received directly by the consumer at his end through a small dish antenna. The encrypted transmission is decoded by a Set-Top-Box (STB) unlike regular cable connection.

Will DTH be an alternative to CAS-enabled cable TV service?
DTH too is nothing but a form of Conditional access system, the only difference is that CAS as we commonly know is still delivered through ground infrastructure and DTH travels through satellite. Both the services have co-existed world over and grown. CAS is the basic form of addressablity where as DTH is as 'flexible' as it can get because one is
not connected to the ground infrastructure.

What are the hardware investments that a subscriber has to make for availing of DTH service?
The basic components of a DTH service are a STB and a dish antenna. Where an entry level DTH STB will cost in the region of Rs 7,000 (including taxes and installation cost at consumers end) a high end STB with value added features like PVR (Personal Video Recorder), PSTN connectivity, Gamming console, channel management system, etc. will be in the region of Rs 15,000.

Will I be able to see all the channels I currently get through my cable system?
Yes of course you will be able to see most of the channels and also a lot of niche channels. The bottom-line is DTH is a neutral distribution platform for all.

If I have more than one TV set at my home, do I need to put two dish antennae and pay double subscription per month?
For multiple connections in the same premises can use the same connection but every TV set will need to have an individual STB.

Can I simultaneously go for DTH and CAS-enabled cable system?
Yes you can. CAS and DTH are independent distribution platforms. One comes to you through ground network and the other through Satellite.

Can the CAS set top box be used for DTH?
No these are different STB's.

If I shift house from one city to another, do I have to change my hardware or make fresh investments?
DTH is a National service and the STBs enable a viewer to change service providers without changing the STB.

I have heard that DTH service quality gets affected by rain and humid conditions
DTH transmission happens on high power Ku Band signals and the quality and strength of transmission is much stronger than the transmission that one receives these days. There could be some effect in exceptionally stormy weather.

How about value-added services? Will there be two-way interactivity or other services like Internet access and telephony?
A High End DTH box will support features like PSTN connectivity, Gaming, Personal Video Recorder etc.

Just as I continue to use the same cell phone irrespective of the service provider, are set top box and dish antennae of various DTH service providers interoperable.
That's a touchy issue. Open architecture of DTH boxes are interoperable and are supposed to comply with
BIS / Government of India specifications.






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