In next two year DD Freedish going to enter in new era, because now DD Freedish will have its own set-top box with iCAS system. Now DD Freedish viewers will also enjoy EPG (Electronic Programming Guide) in iCAS enabled set-top box with smart card (viewing card).
At this time Prasar Bharati testing MPEG-4 Set-top box with iCAS system (Indian Conditional Access System). Although final trials of iCAS STBs already completed and samples already provided to manufacturers to produce DD Freedish MPEG-4 set-top boxes. A DD Freedish subscriber needs to insert viewing smart card in set-top box to avail channels and services. In these set-top boxes DD Freedish subscribers can upgrade their set-top box by OTA (Over the air), means direct from GSAT15 satellite.
In DD Freedish MPEG-4 set-top boxes there is no HDMI port, so maybe it is not HD supported so we are thinking what will be happen then?, if DD Freedish launch its DD HD channel on this platform, no idea. Also there is no USB recording facility as some source but USB port is available. So software may be upgraded later by DD Freedish (OTA).
But you don't worry; DD Free Dish will remain still free-to-air DTH service after implements of iCAS system with no monthly fees etc. The DD Freedish will be required to register their STB with the help of DD Freedish Toll Free no. after purchase of STB from authorized DD FD STB dealers.
DD Freedish has planned to increase its TV channels from 80 to 250 within two years. So it will be high jump because DD Free dish launched in 2004 with 33 TV channels so after 13 years TV channels increased to 80 TV channels only which was very slow progress in this area. Although Narendra Modi government already added about 40+ educational TV channels on DD Freedish under Swayam Prabha and Vande Guajarat within 3 years.