Thursday, June 14, 2012

India Update on DRM from Mr Yogendra Pal

India Update from Mr Yogendra Pal

Prasar Bharati, the only public service broadcaster in India, broadcasts
radio services through All India Radio (AIR) and television services
through Doordarshan India (DDI). The Indian Government has already taken
the vital decision to complete the digitisation of the terrestrial Radio
and Television broadcasting network of AIR and DDI by 2017.

AIR's one hundred and forty-nine medium wave (MW) transmitters, of
different powers, provide Radio signals to over 98% of the population of
India and to most of the neighbouring countries, whereas forty-eight short
wave (SW) transmitters of AIR enable the radio listeners, in most parts of
the world, to enjoy AIR's programmes in a number of Indian and foreign

AIR has adopted DRM and launched the DRM service, from one of the 250 kW SW
transmitters, on the 16th January 2009. The service is in pure digital
mode. Initially about four hours of programmes for the UK and Western
Europe and three hours for the areas around Delhi were being broadcast
daily. However, from 30th Oct 2011, AIR extended the DRM transmissions to
about 15 hours per day. This service is now available in Nepal, Sri Lanka,
Russia, NE Asia, Mauritius and East Africa.

In the first phase, another nine SW and seventy-two MW transmitters are in
the process of either being replaced or converted to DRM by AIR. Out of
these, eight medium wave DRM transmitters, including two of 1000 kW power
each, have already been received by AIR and are in the process of being
installed. An order for one short wave transmitter has also been placed. It
is understood that the orders for the procurement and/or conversion of rest
of the transmitters are at the advanced final stage. AIR proposes to
digitise the remaining MW and SW transmitters in the second phase,
achieving total digitisation by 2017, the cut off date fixed by the Indian
AIR have decided that before the switch over in 2017, MW transmitters are
to be operated in simulcast mode and the SW transmitters only in pure
digital. On MW transmitters the existing programmes would continue to be
available in analogue mode but special entertainment programmes, which are
now available in a very limited area, will be provided in digital mode.
Value added services are also being planned.

Source : DRM India Chapter Noticeboard, 13th June 2012, Issue 01

[Alokesh Gupta, New Delhi]