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 Up loaded on Monday October 04, 2010

  Private DTH operators to cash in on govt-funded HD broadcast of CWG


With the non-availability of HD-enabled set top boxes of Doordarshan’s direct-to-home services in the market, the over Rs 200-crore government funded high definition (HD) broadcast Commonwealth Games (CWG) is only benefiting the private DTH operators.

              According to sources, the HD-feed of CWG will only be available to the 60,000 subscribers of the five private HD DTH services of Sun Direct, Dish TV, Digital TV, Big TV and Tata Sky and not to the 5-million plus subscribers of DD Direct Plus, the free-to-air DTH service of Doordarshan as there are no HD boxes of DD Direct in the market.

             According to government sources, Doordarshan has not seeded any HD-box for DD Direct Plus. “The HD-boxes are imported from China, Taiwan and other south Asian countries. There are no imports of such boxes by any distributor of DD Direct,” a top source in the DTH industry told FE. But private DTH operators are not complaining.

             High Definition is a digital television broadcasting system with a resolution that is four times better than that of a DVD. HDTV offers a wide screen (16:9 ratio) picture and brings the picture resolution of cinema halls onto the television screen.A top official in the information and broadcasting ministry said this was a concern but the responsibility of seeding HD-boxes lies with Prasar Bharati. “The government was committed in funding Prasar Bharati to enable DD to upgrade its infrastructure to HD standards which it has done. Doordarshan should answer as to how the HD-feed is reaching its own subscribers,” the official said.

            Doordarshan director general Aruna Sharma said, “It’s not our job to provide HD boxes. I am told they are available in the market. Also, the HD feed of CWG are available on private DTH players.”

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