TRAI issues recommendations to switch to Digital Terrestrial TV
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Tuesday announced the recommendations on ‘issues related to Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting in India.’
“At present, Terrestrial TV broadcasting in India is under the exclusive domain of Doordarshan (Prasar Bharati), the Public Service Broadcaster and it is predominantly analog. While a large number of TV channels are available to the consumers through various delivery platforms such as DTH, Cable TV, IPTB, HITS etc, the existing terrestrial TV platform provides only a few channels which do not offer a value proposition to the viewers,” TRAI said.
Terrestrial television broadcasting is the preferred method for providing free-to-air TV services to the people on most of the countries.
The recommendations by TRAI include:
1. Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) services may be introduced throughout the country in a time bound manner to provide alternate affordable platform to consumers in accessing TV channels, Mobile TV services and other valued added services.
2. Private players should be permitted to provide DTT services along with the public service broadcaster (Doordarshan) to ensure plurality and competition in the market. Private participation expected to bring in investment and speed up the digitisation process, thereby benefiting the consumers by providing variety of TV channels and value added services.
3. A total of seven DTT transmitters may be allowed in a particular service area for making DTT as a competitive platform for providing rich bouquet of services including SDTV, HDTV channels, Mobile TV services and value added services.
4. Maximum number of DTT providers may be capped at five (one public broadcaster and four private broadcasters) at a particular place as per availability of spectrum.
5. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in consultation with Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing of Department of Telecommunications and other technical agency such as Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL) may carry out comprehensive frequency planning for roll out of DTT services in a time bound manner.
6. Digital Terrestrial transmission may be implemented in the country in the following three phases.
7. A minimum overlap of three months must be provided as simulcast period for migration from Analog to digital platform before analog switch off.
8. A Coordination Committee may be set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to steer implementation of DTT as a mission mode project to ensure creation of a facilitating environment and timely completion for digitisation of terrestrial broadcasting.
“Analog terrestrial broadcasting is being phased out world over due to poor quality of service inefficient use of spectrum and obsolescence of analog technologies,” TRAI said.