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DTH News : DD empanels 11 cos for Free Dish MPEG4 STB rollout
MUMBAI: Public broadcaster Doordarshan has revealed the list of Indian set top box (STB) manufacturers empanelled for providing MPEG4 set top boxes (STBs) for its free direct to home (DTH) service Free Dish.

The pubcaster has shortlisted 11 STB manufacturers for providing MPEG4 STBs to customers. These include BGM Holding Company, KMTS Engineering, Millenium Technologies, Modern Communication and Broadcast System, Velankani Electronics, BECIL, Exza Infosystem, Catvision, The Creative Advertiser, STB Technologies, Laxmi Remote India.

DD has empanelled six more companies for MPEG4 roll out in addition to the five it had announced earlier. It had earlier selected Modern Communication and Broadcast System, Velankani Electronics, BGM Holding Company, KMTS Engineering, and Millennium Technology for supplying MPEG4 STBs.

In December, DD DG Supriya Sahu had visited the Velankani Group-owned ByDesign’s facilities in Bengaluru to assess the preparedness of MPEG4 STB roll-out for Free Dish.

Sahu had earlier told that the encrypted STBs will be rolled-out from April 2017. However, the launch got delayed.

The authorised OEMs will have to integrate their STBs with the Indian Conditional Access System (iCAS), which has been developed by ByDesign, and DD approved Firmware/Middleware. STB OEMs have to contact ByDesign in Bangalore for all STB integration and certification related to iCAS platform.

The roll-out of encrypted STBS will allow Freedish to keep a tab on its subscriber numbers. It will also help in increasing the channel carrying capacity to 104 channels up from the 80 channels it offers currently. The target is to eventually provide 250 channels with the help of additional transponders that it will receive from the government.

In September 2015, Doordarshan had set in motion the process of rolling out encrypted MPEG 4 STBs for Free Dish by issuing the tender for appointing authorised STB OEMs.

Meanwhile, the pubcaster has revealed the list of channels available on Free Dish. As per the list, there are seven vacant slots on the platform. Free Dish is carrying 73 channels including DD channels.

Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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