The free-to-air DTH service of Doordarshan, DD Direct Plus, will be formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on December 16. It may be recalled that DD has been waiting for a date from the PMO for quite sometime for the formal inauguration of this service.
The DD Direct Plus service will initially air 30 TV channels and 12 Radio channels. The basket of TV channels will comprise 17 DD channels and 13 private channels. The private channels joining the service are Headlines Today, Aaj Tak, Zee Music, MH1, BBC, CNN, Star Utsav, Kairali, Sun TV, etc Punjabi, Akash Bangla, Jain TV and Smile TV.
The DD channels that will be put on the DTH platform include DD National, DD Sports, DD News, DD Bharti and DD India, 11 language channels of the public broadcaster, and the education channel Gyan Bharti.
The 12 Radio channels will comprise nine language radio channels of AIR, Vividh Bharti, AIR FM Rainbow and AIR FM Gold.
The public broadcaster has decided to sell set-top boxes and dish antenna – necessary to receive the DTH service -- to consumers through 700 electronic goods retail outlets spread across the country. The cost of a set-top box and dish will be in the range of Rs 2500 to Rs 4000. Subscribers will not have to pay any subscription fee as it is a free-to-air service.
The Direct Plus service will use the NSS6 satellite to beam these channels. The 48 million TV homes receiving DD’s two terrestrial channels at present will constitute the target audience.