The infrastructure of Doordarshan and AIR in all major metros and important state capitals is expected to go digital in next three to four years. This will put India among the select group of countries to have turned their broadcasting digital.
This move will effectively reduce the number of terrestrial transmitters from 1,400 to less than 700 for Doordarshan while increasing the carrying capacity of channels per transmitter. For viewers, this will mean a substantial improvement in reception of picture and sound quality.
While the Union Cabinet has allocated Rs 620 crore towards the digitalisation plans of Doordarshan, AIR will get over Rs 840 crore. Both have to put in place the digital infrastructure in next three years.
According to Doordarshan officials, under the digitalisation drive, all the major Doordarshan Kendras will get digital equipment. Subsequently, all such Doordarshan stations will be digitally linked using the satellite. The digital archiving of content and video library is currently on. The transmission of Commonwealth Games in October will kick-off the digital transmission drive of Doordarshan terrestrially. Digital Terrestrial Transmission or DTT has been adopted by several developed and developing nations in order to unlock spectrum and provide better quality of broadcasting. India, according to a Planning Commission report, should be able to completely switch over to digital transmission before 2017.
n order to do so, the government is approaching the digitalisation drive in four steps. In the initial two steps, the digital infrastructure of Doordarshan in Delhi and other metros will be upgraded at an estimated cost of Rs 320 crore. Similarly, AIR's infrastructure will be overhauled by replacing the existing medium-wave transmitter by digital transmitters at an estimated cost of Rs 290 crore.
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