An expert panel has recommended making direct-to-home (DTH) signals the primary mode of transmitting content for Doordarshan and to discontinue terrestrial analog transmission.
The Prasar Bharati Expert Committee, headed by technocrat Sam Pitroda, submitted its report to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on January 24.
It observed that in the present scenario, 92 per cent of Indian households access television through cable and satellite systems (Cable and and DTH).
"This scenario presents a strong case for switching off analog terrestrial TV broadcasts within a short period of time and adoption of DD Direct (DTH) as Doordarshan's primary mode of transmission," the Committee recommended.
It is expected that after the completion of all phases of digitization, DTH and Digital Cable technologies will stabilize and become the preponderant transmission and distribution platforms. The committee also suggested that Doordarshan expand its satellite and digital cable TV operations.
The panel said Doordarshan should continue to transmit through private DTH and cable and satellite operators.
This move from terrestrial to satellite transmission will result in considerable cost saving, even as it offers the possibility of a wider content variety as compared to the limited number of channels available through terrestrial broadcasts, it said.
Doordarshan runs a DTH service which was recently renamed 'DD Free Dish'. It was earlier named DD Direct Plus.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had constituted an Expert Committee for the purpose of reviewing the institutional framework of Prasar Bharati, including its relationship with government, its continuing role as a public broadcaster and measures needed to ensure technical up gradation of the organization.
A 'Group on Technology', constituted by the Committee to study these aspects, said switch over to satellite is more cost effective as it will allow Prasar Bharati to achieve annual saving of Rs 635 crore towards maintenance and operations and notional savings of Rs 1,294 crore pertaining to the planned expenditure for up gradation of existing terrestrial infrastructure in 12th Plan.
The Group also said transitioning to satellite would result in freeing up of spectrum and other assets such as real estate.
The committee in its report said in the long run, convergence will lead to a common transmission platform servicing audio, video and text formats. It also suggested that terrestrial TV operations should be selectively digitalized based on commercial viability.
Source: PTI/ Economics Times