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General News DD’s Supriya Sahu reiterates expansion of Freedish to 104 channels by March-end
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MUMBAI: Doordarshan’s subscription-free DTH platform, Freedish, will offer 104 channels by March-end, even as it aims to roll out MPEG-4 set-top boxes (STBs), a senior official said.

Freedish, which has 20 million subscribers, currently offers 80 channels.

“The new initiative is that we are introducing conditional access system in our set-top boxes. We are getting into a new technology which is MPEC-4. So, by March-end, we will be coming out with new set-top boxes for Doordarshan, enhancing the number of existing channels from 80 to 104,” PTI quoted Doordarshan director general Supriya Sahu as saying.

Sahu also said that five channels of Doordarshan—National, News, Sports, Kisan and local–are now available through digital terrestrial transmission (DTT).

“DTT is already available in 16 cities. By the end of March this year, DTT will be available in Hyderabad, Srinagar and Thiruvananthapuram. By 2018, other 44 cities will become digital (where DTT will then be available),” she said.

“We have capacity for ten channels (through DTT),” she said, adding that once IIM Ahmedabad, entrusted with the task of preparing a business plan on DTT roadmap, gives its report by March first week, Doordarshan would decide on its strategy of providing additional five channels through DTT.

As reported earlier by TelevisionPost.com, Doordarshan is looking to invest Rs 320 crore in this. IIM Ahmedabad is working out a business model for Doordarshan’s DTT platform.

An internet-free broadcast distribution service, DTT allows consumers to receive television channels on the go or at home through TV sets, smartphones and tablets—using a Doordarshan application and a dongle specifically designed for the service.

Sahu was participating in the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union’s first edition of international television film festival, hosted by Prasar Bharati.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had floated a consultation paper in June last year to prepare the ground for private players in DTT.

TRAI said that allowing the private sector in terrestrial TV broadcasting would result in inflow of private capital in the sector and growth of terrestrial services.

The private sector may develop DTT as a competitive and viable alternative platform for consumers. Throwing open DTT for private players will also encourage innovation in services, according to TRAI.

Source:
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Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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