DTT & DTH high on govt agenda

The Working Group on the I&B sector for the 10th Five-Year Plan has recommended 100 per cent digitisation of production facilities and automation of studio operations at major Doordarshan Kendras in the next five years.

The report, which suggests 100 per cent coverage of the potential TV population in the country with multi channel television services, also advocates efforts to ensure that major TV services of Prasar Bharati are available to people elsewhere in the world through various modes of distribution including webcasting, Direct To Home (DTH) and cable. The extension of coverage, however, should be achieved by deploying a technology that is most cost effective after evaluating all options, the report cautions. Currently, DD1 the main channel of Doordarshan is available to nearly 89.1 per cent of the population, according to the report.

I&B minister Sushma Swaraj - In favour of fully digitized, automated DD Kendras in five years

The working group has provided a green signal to Doordarshan to start IT enabled multimedia services like interactive TV, webcasting and data casting on a pilot basis and has advised DD to take up small High Definition Television (HDTV) schemes on an experimental basis.

The report is clearly inclined favourably towards DTH and Digial Terrestrial Television (DTT), and stresses on the conversion of last mile connectivity in the digital mode. "This would require appropriate policy to encourage and promote use of digital set top boxes at the viewers‘ premises, which is essential to enable them to receive digital signals, at least in the initial stages," the report notes.

The report criticizes the government for treating policies relating to digital television services as a source of revenue, saying these will eventually be counter productive. Maintaining that digital set top boxes be given the same treatment in their promotion and taxation as that given to computer hardware, the report censures the present policy on DTH that has ‘not encouraged any player to come so far and promote the growth of digital set top boxes.‘

Will DTH in India become a reality in the next five years?

In its suggestions, the group has noted that digital production facilities at DD Kendras would ensure good quality convergent ready content while automation at the centers would cut down on operational and maintenance costs. The Group has however allowed leeway for other Kendras, allowing them 50 per cent upgradation of current facilities in the 10th Five Year Plan.

The report advises caution on investment in DTT, maintainintg that a commercially viable business model should first be established before the government takes a plunge in these uncharted waters. The report is also keen on improving the technical quality of content and making it easily available to multimedia treatment. Almost half the production facilities at DD‘s Kendras have been currently upgraded from analog to digital; the report however, stresses 100 per cent digitization of facilities in major kendras to enable content distribution in an interactive mode on any platform including the Internet. A shift from manual operations to automated operations both in production and transmission has also been recommended to economise on these costs.

Doordarshan, the report notes, should keep itself abreast with the latest know how in the realm of HDTV to enable its promotion as and when affordable to viewers. The emerging arena of HDTV enables delivery of film quality pictures to viewers‘ homes but is prohibitively priced even in developed countries. The report suggests that DD could take up small projects on HDTV on an experimental basis, as recent market trends in the US show that alternative modes of distribution are catching on very fast.

Latest Reads
Tata Sky vs TRAI: Delhi High Court adjourns matter to 28 January

DTH major Tata Sky’s ongoing legal tussle with the TRAI and its new tariff regime, in which Bharti Telemedia-owned Airtel Digital TV and Sun Direct are a part, has been adjourned by the Delhi High Court to 28 January.

Regulators TRAI
MIB gives licences to 5 new channels

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) gave licenses to five new channels up until 31 December 2018. The channels are P Plus, PTunes, Living Travelz, Star Movies Kids and Star Movies Kids HD.

Regulators I&B Ministry
TRAI asks Tata Sky to submit status report on tariff order implementation

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked direct-to-home operator Tata Sky to file a comprehensive status report on the implementation of its new tariff regime.

Regulators TRAI
Broadcasters to TRAI: No further regulation of OTT communication services

Major broadcasters including Star India, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), Times Network are clear they do not favour any further regulatory intervention on over-the-top (OTT) communication services. All three players have clearly depicted their view that OTTs should not be seen as a substitute...

Regulators TRAI
MIB may nod in favour of self-regulation code for online video streamers

An upswing in online streaming platforms in India has drawn attention of authority as well as stakeholders on regulation.

Regulators I&B Ministry
Tata Sky vs. TRAI: Case, argued partly by DTH operator, adjourned to 23 January

DTH operator Tata Sky’s ongoing court battle with the TRAI and its new tariff regime, in which Bharti Telemedia-owned Airtel Digital TV and Sun Direct are a part, has been adjourned by the Delhi High Court to January 23 with arguments being inconclusive.

Regulators TRAI
MIB restricts eligibility for temporary uplinking for non-news events

In a fresh notice, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has laid out a new norm for temporary uplinking applications for live coverage of non-news and current affairs TV channels. Now, only those channels and teleport operators that are already permitted by the MIB will be eligible to...

Regulators I&B Ministry
Prasar Bharati to TRAI: OTTs streaming live TV should mandatorily carry all Doordarshan channels

Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has suggested to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that certain norms be made mandatory for OTT providers, in order to bring them on a level playing field with TV broadcasters and not just limit their comparison to telecom service providers (TSPs).

Regulators TRAI
SC upholds licence cancellation of Digi Cable Network, SCOD 18 Networking

Cancellation of licences granted to two MSOs Digi Cable Network and SCOD 18 Networking has been upheld by the Supreme Court on security ground. Before moving to apex court the petitioners had approached the Bombay High Court where their pleas challenging the cancellation order by Ministry of...

Regulators Supreme Court

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories