Freedish to Add 250 TV Channels But After Upgrading To MPEG4
DD FreeDish next auction after the operationalization of MPEG4. With MPEG4 under final test and the existing stations got the extensions for their licenses, the next electronic auction onDoordarshan FreeDish will take place aroundFebruary 2017. Doordarshan had officially announced early last month that its free to air direct to home platform is capable to broadcast 104 TV channels, and 24 television channels would be added to the 80 existing channels after the start of MPEG4 technology.
While three new channels were added at an auction for two days in mid-October, 24 got extension for a year. DTH officials also confirmed that FreeDish could soon add 250 channels. So, 250 TV channels soon on DD freeDish. According to the "Digital India" and "Make in India", DD has decided to implement the Indian CAS (ICAS) in the platform of DD FreeDish. ICAS (an initiative of the central government) is introduced into 24 MPEG-4 channels. The introduction of iCAS offers better image quality. DD officials have said the 24 additional channels of SDTV MPEG-4 will be available to viewers in FTA mode. Existing viewers continue to receive 80 SDTV channels, but they must have decoders obtained with iCAS access to receive 104 channels. Although FreeDish Air will remain free of monthly fees or subscription but the viewers must register with DD FreeDish to get Freedish MPEG4 set-top-box from authorized Doordarshan Set top box dealer. DD has won Rs 980 million in 2014-15, Rs 1.8 billion in 2015-16 and Rs 1.04 billion in 2016-17. The 31st auction earned Rs 1293000000 (Rs 129 crore) last month. FreeDish was launched in December 2004 with a modest bouquet of 33 channels and now has 80 TV channels and 32 radio channels. These include 22 Doordarshan channels and two parliamentary channels. DD officials pointed out that the implementation of iCAS and licensing of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from Doordarshan will give a great boost to " Make in India" and "Digital India". Currently, most we import most of the set-top-box decorder. However, the introduction of iCAS helps to standardize STBs and promotes the production of quality STB in India.