Television

DD to offer 104 channels & MPEG-4 STBs by Mar-end

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MUMBAI: Doordarshan is preparing to offer 104 channels by March-end, the pubcaster's director-general Supriya Sahu has said. Also, with the aim of expanding its DTH platform, Doordarshan is actively considering coming out with new set-top boxes having MPEG-4 technology.

'FreeDish', at present, she said, has 20 million subscribers, and is the market-share leader among the seven India-based DTH players.

Sahu told PTI that the initiative was to introduce conditional access system in the DD set-top boxes. They were getting into the new MPEG-4 technology. By March-end, she said, DD would want to enhance the number of existing channels from 80 to 104.

She also said that Doordarshan's five channels -- National, News, Sports, Kisan and local -- were available through digital terrestrial transmission (DTT). DTT allows Doordarshan subscribers to watch channels for free on their Android phones with a small dongle, without internet.

By 2018, she said, 44 additional cities would become digital where DTT would then be available.

Sahu said that DD had the capacity for 10 channels through DTT, adding that, once IIM Ahmedabad, entrusted with the task of preparing a business plan on DTT roadmap, gave its report by March first week, Doordarshan would decide on its strategy of providing additional five channels through DTT.

DTT, she said, was already available in 16 cities. By March, it would be available in Hyderabad, Srinagar and Thiruvananthapuram.

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