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Videocon to launch DTH service on April 27
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After many delays, Venugopal Dhoot, chairman, Videocon Industries, has decided the launch date for his much-talked about business - direct-to-home (DTH) venture to April 27, 2009.

Videocon officials said the company is targeting consumers who purchase the TV with an integrated DTH STB. To be called D2H+, the new service promises a new-age satellite TV platform that will make use of revolutionary technology.

With over 1,050 distributors and 75,000 retailers, Videocon is ensuring a strong sales network and has been recruiting sales and service staff through its media arm, Bharat Business Channel.

Sources said the STB will be made at Aurangabad (Maharashtra) by Videocon with technology from Areon, Korea. Interestingly, the company has initiated an 'alpha offer' for employees. It has already distributed 15-20 STBs in six circles, and will air 57 free-to-air channels.

Videocon will be the seventh company to enter the DTH space in India even as existing players are making losses of up to Rs 1 crore a day, over subsidised set top boxes (STBs) and subscription plans. The recent entry of two more players, Airtel digital TV and Big TV, has driven down the price of STBs, hitting profitability even more.

Dish TV, the first to offer DTH services, was launched in 2003. It was followed by Doordarshan (DD) in 2004 and Tata Sky in 2006. The entry prices for a dish antenna and STB were then around Rs 5,000 while subscription plans ranged from Rs 250 for some channels to Rs 600 for a full bouquet of channels.

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