In what could be the first formal step towards introducing Mobile TV and opening up Digital Terrestrial Television to the private sector, a sub-committee on transmission issues under the Working Group on I&B sector recently instituted by the Planning Commission has asked BECIL and Prasar Bharati to prepare a draft paper on when and how to go for the transition.
The sub-committee, headed by Pradeep Singh, Additional Secretary, I&B Ministry met on Thursday in the Capital. It decided that one out of the two UHF bands (4 or 5) both of which Doordarshan is now using, should be vacated for the private players. Doordarshan now uses both UHF 4 band (400-560MHz) and UHF 5 band (580-700 MHz) for its terrestrial transmission.
The sub-committee decided that as there are many technologies available at present for DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld), India should adopt a technology-neutral approach. At present, a number of broadcast frequencies and technologies – VHF, L band, DVB-H, T-DMB, ISDB-T and MediaFLO by Qualcomm are already in use around the globe.
The sub-committee also discussed the issue of working out a mission mode project and a timeframe to move from analog transmissioin to digital transmission of television and radio. Though no agreement was reached on a deadline, whether it should be 2015 or 2020, but it was decided that digitisation should be implemented first in television and then in radio in a phase wise manner, first in A+ and A category cities and then in other cities.
It also discussed the new technologies like HD Radio and DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) for the radio industry and asked AROI, the FM radio industry body, to come out with a plan and timeframe as how to implement these new technologies in India.
If the proposals see the light of the day, then one can not only watch all the channels through an antenna like the old Doordarshan days, but also watch live television through a device in one’s car and on the mobile phone. DAB will allow one to listen one’s favourite music station while travelling from city to city without changing the frequency.
Planning Commission Working Group on I&B sector to work towards digitisation of TV by 2015