DTH may give a scare to cable operators

The set top box seen on top of the TV is the indoor unit for receiving DTH programmes Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

The set top box seen on top of the TV is the indoor unit for receiving DTH programmes Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam  

VISAKHAPATNAM, MARCH 24. Here is good news for Doordarshan and Akashvani fans. The Direct-to-Home (DTH) concept being promoted by Prasara Bharati, will enable them to view crystal clear images from 30 DD and a few private satellite channels and also hear their favourite programmes from 18 Akashvani stations without any distortion.

This concept is expected to give cable operators a run for their money. In just two days after Prasara Bharati announced this through a notification, over 50 enquiries have been received which reflects the enthusiasm of the people in switching over to DTH.

It is also an indication of their frustration with cable operators who frequently hike the monthly rentals on some pretext or the other.

A small dish antenna about two feet in diameter, a set top box which is about the size of a telephone instrument and a connecting cable are the three things that are required to receive crystal clear image and sound on TV and radio. All this comes for an one-time investment of about Rs.3,000.

Those who are fond of surfing the private channels can opt for a pay box (set top box) for about Rs.2,000 more. They would have to purchase a SIM card and insert it when viewing pay channels. The money would be deducted as per the rate fixed by the private pay channel. Once the amount in the card is exhausted, the subscriber would not be able to view pay channels until he or she recharges the card.

However, those who are content with viewing various channels being telecast by DD like News, Sports and regional language channels from different States in the country can sit back and relax without worrying about recurring expenditure.

DTH is a steal for those living in flats. A single dish is enough to meet the requirements of the residents of an entire apartment complex. However, each house should have a separate set top box and a few signal boosters.

``DTH is an excellent medium to escape from the frequent hike in monthly charges by cable operators.

It is a boon for people from other States who wish to view programmes on DD channels from their home State, and for NRIs in different parts of the globe,'' the Superintending Engineer of All India Radio, Visakhapatnam, K. Subrahmanya Sarma, told The Hindu .

``A few private channels like TV 9, Zee News and ETC Punjabi have joined hands with us and those channels can also be viewed without having any additional set top box or SIM card. ETV 2 is also in touch with Prasar Bharati seeking the telecast of its programmes through DTH and the proposal is under consideration at a higher level,'' he said.

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