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DD's digital terrestrial transmission meet today as TRAI paper awaits finalisation

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NEW DELHI: Even as a consultation paper on Digital Terrestrial Transmission by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is pending finalisation, Doordarshan is holding a workshop with stakeholders to explore the potential of DTT services.

The workshop on “Digital Terrestrial Transmission: Business Opportunities” is being organized on 23 December 2016 in the capital and will be addressed by experts.

Experts from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, various stakeholders including Content providers, private broadcasters, receiver manufactures, and officers at Doordarshan will be participating in this workshop.

In the paper issued on 22 June 2016, TRAI wanted to know if stakeholders perceive the need for introduction of DTT in multiple broadcasting distribution platforms and what the appropriate strategy for DTT implementation across the country should be.

indiantelevision.com had earlier reported that the government was in the final stages of this exercise. Later, the website quoted then Prasar Bharati Chief Executive Officer Jawhar Sircar as saying that the pubcaster had itself cleared this more than a year earlier, even while pointing out that this would necessitate use of the Prasar Bharati infrastructure.

DD, which presently has exclusive domain over terrestrial broadcasting, ranks amongst the world’s largest terrestrial television networks. It has a network of 1412 analog transmitters that provide TV services through two national channels namely, DD National and DD News. In addition to this, the network also broadcast several regional TV channels over the terrestrial network in a time sharing mode to meet the local and regional needs of people in different parts of the country. All TV channels provided by DD are free-to-air.

In its paper, TRAI had asked whether DTT broadcasting should be opened for participation by the private players, and which model or a combination thereof for Dtt will be most suitable in Indian context.

Trai also wanted to know what the approach for implementing DTT network (MFN/SFN/Hybrid) should be and how many digital multiplex per DTT operator should be planned for metro, major cities, urban and rural areas.

Expert opinion had also been sought on the most appropriate frequency band as per National Frequency Allocation Plan 2011 for implementation of Digital terrestrial transmission including mobile TV.

The DTT platform is flexible and content format agnostic - newer formats of TV channels such as HD TV, 3D TV, UHD TV, data and radio services etc. can thus be delivered with reduced transmission power requirements. Digitisation also allows for government bodies to reclaim spectrum and repurpose it.

With standardized DTT transmission and clear advantages in terms of effective frequency utilization as well as enhanced TV quality, many countries the world over have laid down clear roadmaps to switch-off analog terrestrial TV transmission with a transition to DTT. In India, though work for changeover from Analog terrestrial transmission to digital terrestrial transmission by DD has already commenced, a clear roadmap is however unavailable.

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