Broadcast Reforms by Prasar Bharati to pave way for new technologies new content opportunities
By PIB Delhi
Rolling-out broadcasting reforms at Doordarshan and All India Radio over the last couple of years, Prasar Bharati has been swiftly phasing out obsolete broadcasting technologies like Analog Terrestrial TV Transmitters, paving way for a paradigm shift to emerging technologies and new content opportunities.
Taking note of misinformation being published in certain media outlets, Prasar Bharati has clarified that broadcast reform steps to phase out obsolete analog terrestrial TV transmitters was being misrepresented. Recently, such false reports about DD Silchar, DD Kalaburagi etc have been noticed. Prasar Bharati has made it clear that these DD Centres shall continue to generate program content for broadcasting on the satellite channels of Doordarshan dedicated to their respective States, apart from maintaining their presence on digital media via YouTube and on social media. For instance, program content generated by DD Silchar and DD Kalaburagi shall now be broadcast on DD Assam and DD Chandana respectively.
Analog Terrestrial TV is an obsolete technology and phaseout of the same is in both public interest and national interest as it makes valuable spectrum available for new and emerging technologies such as 5g apart from reducing wasteful expenditure on power. So far, almost 70% of all Analog Transmitters have been phased out. Rest are being sunset in a phased manner while ensuring appropriate measures are taken for re-deployment of manpower. With the exception of around 50 analog terrestrial TV transmitters in strategic locations, Prasar Bharati will be phasing out the rest of the obsolete analog transmitters by 31st March 2022.
Timeline of ATT Phase out and Resource rationalisation
Year Number of ATTs phased out Spectrum Bandwidth Freed IEBR Expenditure Reduction/Annum 2017 – 18 306 7 MHz in VHF,8 MHz U inHF Around Rs 100 Cr savings in operating expenditure annually 2018 – 19 468 2019 – 20 6 2020 – 21 46 2021 – 22 412 By Oct 21 – 152 By Dec 21 – 109 By Mar 22 – 151
Prasar Bharati has also entered into a MoU with IIT Kanpur to develop Next Gen Broadcast solution/roadmap for Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting consistent with emerging standards such as 5G Broadcast to enable new applications such as Direct to Mobile Broadcasting and to create new Content Opportunities through the use of Artificial Intelligence Algorithms.
Through DD FreeDish DTH all Doordarshan channels including DD Assam and several private channels have been made available by Prasar Bharati, free of cost with no monthly fees throughout India. Set-top boxes to receive DD FreeDish DTH channels in “free to air mode” may be purchased through the open market as a one-time investment to access more than 120 free to air TV channels including several educational channels as well as more than 40 satellite radio channels of Akashvani.