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  India   DD likely to miss December 31 deadline for digital drive

DD likely to miss December 31 deadline for digital drive

Published : Oct 9, 2016, 6:14 am IST
Updated : Oct 9, 2016, 6:14 am IST

Even as the nation prepares to go entirely digital in cable television broadcast, the sector’s only exception will be the public broadcaster Doordarshan.

Even as the nation prepares to go entirely digital in cable television broadcast, the sector’s only exception will be the public broadcaster Doordarshan. Sources stated that Doordarshan is expected to majorly embark on digitisation of its broadcasting operations from next year.

Claiming to have one of the largest reach of viewers through its terrestrial network, sources stated Doordarshan has embarked on an ambitious progamme replacing its analogue transmitters to digital transmitters, which will allow up to 8 channels to be carried from a single transmitter. Digitisation is expected to ensure better broadcast quality and higher number of channel availability to viewers. The Union information and broadcasting ministry has set December 31 as the cut off for all cable television broadcasts to go digital in the country. The final date for digitisation is unlikely to be extended by the government, sources added.

 

Doordarshan claims to reach more than 90 per cent of the Indian population through a network of more than 1416 terrestrial transmitters. There are presently about 67 Doordarshan studios producing TV programmes. The digitisation proposal is in keeping with recommendation of a Prasar Bharati expert committee, headed by technocrat Sam Pitroda, seeking direct-to-home (DTH) signals the primary mode of transmitting content for Doordarshan and to discontinue terrestrial analog transmission in a phased manner.

The report was submitted to the I&B ministry in 2014. It stated that Doordarshan’s move from terrestrial to satellite transmission will result in considerable cost saving, even as it offers the possibility of a wider content variety as compared to the limited channels available through terrestrial broadcasts. Currently, 92 per cent of Indian households access TV through cable and satellite systems (cable and DTH). The switch over to satellite is more cost effective as it will allow Prasar Bharati to achieve annual saving of `635 crore towards maintenance and operations.

 

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi