May 25, 2007

Doordarshan Mobile TV Pilot in Delhi

State-owned broadcaster, Doordarshan (DD), has launched a mobile TV pilot service on cell phones, currently limited to subscribers in some parts of New Delhi, says a PTI report.

Inaugurating the service, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, PR Dasmunsi, exclaimed that this is a 'great moment' for Doordarshan.

Currently available only on DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting Handheld) compliant mobile handsets, to subscribers within a radius of 10 to 12 kilometers from Akashvani Bhawan on Parliament Street, New Delhi, the free service has already been kicked-off by DD.

As of now, there are 8 channels being beamed; namely, DD National, DD News, DD Sports, DD Bharati, DD Urdu, DD Punjabi, DD Bangla, and DD Podhigai.

Available from 5.30am to 12 at midnight, the service does not involve any other levy by any mobile service provider.

Commenting on availability, BS Lalli, CEO of Prasar Bharati, said initially, 8 channels will be available on handsets, to be soon stepped-up to 16.

Adding to this, A S Guin, Engineer-in-Chief at Prasar Bharati, said the service will be expanded to 16 channels within 6 to 8 months, and that after covering Delhi, it would be taken to other metros within an 18 months time frame.

Presently, analogue studio recording is transmitted to satellites that convert the same into digital signals. At the viewer's end, digital signals are once again downgraded to analogue by televisions or set-top-boxes.

Reportedly, Doordarshan has about 1,400 analogue transmitters of varying power. In Guin's view, all satellite channels of DD would be digitalized by 2017 at studio and transmitter levels.

DVB-H compliant handsets have already been announced by Nokia and Samsung. While currently, these handsets cost in the region of Rs 30,000 and above, DD expects other companies to come out with cheaper handsets in the range of Rs 18,000.

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