Hyderabad: To expand its DTH platform, Doordarshan plans to come out with new set-top boxes having MPEC-4 technology and provide 104 channels by March-end, its Director General Supriya Sahu said on Sunday.
‘Free Dish’, its DTH platform, at present has 20 million subscribers, and is the market-share leader among the seven DTH players in the country, she said.
“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,” Sahu said.
She also said 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.
DTT allows Doordarshan viewers to watch channels for free on their Android mobile phones with a small dongle (available online and at some shops), and no internet or data connectivity is needed, said Sahu. She was here in connection with the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union’s first edition of international television film festival, hosted by Prasar Bharati.
“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.