Indian Telecast Network, DOORDARSHAN is the world's largest Terrestrial Network, covering cities & villages through out the nation.
Direct-to-Home (DTH)
What is DTH ?

Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite television is becoming a buzzword in the satellite broadcast industry due to the fact that DTH offers immense opportunities to both broadcasters and viewers. Thanks to the rapid development of digital technology, DTH broadcast operators worldwide have been able to introduce a large number of new interactive applications in the television market besides a large number of entertainment programmes over a single delivery platform. In addition, since digital technology permits a highly efficient exploitation of the frequency spectrum, the number of TV channels that can be broadcast using digital technology is significantly higher than with analogue technology. The increased number of television channels allows the operator to satisfy the demand of a number of niche markets with dedicated transmissions.

In general, DTH service is the one in which a large number of channels are digitally compressed, encrypted and beamed from very high power satellites. The programmes can be directly received at homes. This mode of reception facilitates the use of small receive dish antennas of 45 to 60 cm diameter installed at convenient location in individual buildings without needing elaborate foundation /space etc. Also, DTH transmission eliminates local cable operator completely, since an individual user is directly connected to the service providers. However, a digital receiver is needed to receive the multiplexed signals and view them on a TV. DTH, in sharp contrast to Cable TV, lends itself to easy monitoring and control.

Transmission in Ku band is most appropriate and widely used for the purpose. As mentioned above, all the encoded transmission signals are digital - thus providing higher resolution picture quality and better audio than traditional analog signals. All the advantages of the digital transmission, as applicable to the terrestrial transmission are relevant in the satellite transmission also.

DD - Direct

Doordarshan, the national broadcaster in India, at present has a network of more than 1400 transmitters spread throughout the country and its signals are available to about 90 %( DD1) and 43% (DD-News) population of country. The prime duty of any national public service broadcaster is to make the programmes of national importance available to all its people and nationals. It was estimated that the coverage of remaining 10 % population with terrestrial (single channel) broadcast would cost enormously. Besides that, setting up of terrestrial transmitters in the uncovered areas would have taken a number of years (10 to 15 years). Also, operation of terrestrial transmission would have required a huge manpower (a few thousand persons).

With the fast developments taking place in Satellite Broadcasting, it is but natural that Doordarshan has also come up with an alternative to get the required reach with an alternate technology option "Ku-band broadcasting" which is envisaged for the coverage of remaining population. This is a much cheaper and economical option as compared to the coverage through Terrestrial transmitters.

Ku-band transmission will provide coverage in all uncovered areas including remote, border, tribal, hilly and inaccessible areas in one go within a short time. With this coverage, the national broadcaster proposes to meet its obligation of covering the whole nation and its people not only with national channels, but also make available popular Doordarshan and some other free-to-air channels on its platform. In order to meet its obligations, it has also been decided that 10,000 receive systems (Dish and Set Top Box) would be provided free of cost at public institutions like Anganwadis, Schools, Public Health Centres, Panchayats, Youth Clubs, Cooperative Societies etc. in the uncovered areas.

It may be pertinent to mention here that incidentally Doordarshan would be starting DTH service with Ku band broadcasting as not only uncovered areas are covered with its commencement, but also the whole country gets multi-channel service in one stroke. The signal will be available at each home directly without the use of any cable etc. and one will be able to receive the programmes with the help of a small receive segment.

This platform has been named as DD DIRECT+.

The DD DIRECT+ envisages telecast of 30 free-to-air channels (containing both Doordarshan and private channels) initially and is likely to include more channels later on. Satellite Earth Station for uplink of signals has been setup at Delhi. Test transmission has already commenced and the commissioning of the service would take place shortly. NSS 6 is the high power Ku-band satellite hosting the DD DTH services. The free distribution of the receive systems is also being expeditiously done.


Most of the DTH Systems, operating all over the world, provide Paid Service. The encrypted TV signals are received from the satellite on the Dish Antenna and transmitted to the DIGITAL DECODER. The customer is provided with a Viewing Card, which is inserted into a slot in the DIGITAL DECODER. The Viewing Card decrypts the TV signals chosen & paid for by the customer. A Viewing Card is a credit card sized smart card, which contains information about the channels that the customer has subscribed to. When inserted in the Decoder it enables viewing of the channels chosen by the subscriber. The subscription charges for viewing these channels are collected by the DTH operator.

However, DD DIRECT+ would be totally different, as Doordarshan would not be charging any subscription fee from the viewers, making the system cheap and affordable for all.

Receive system of DD DIRECT+ would be cheaper as compared to receive system of other DTH operators as all the channels proposed under Doordarshan project are Free-To-Air and therefore SMS and CAS are not envisaged. No smart card/conditional access system is required at the uplinking or downlinking site.

How to Receive

Receive System includes a small satellite dish (which is an antenna for receiving a satellite broadcast signal); a digital integrated receiver/decoder (IRD) also called STB (Set Top Box), which separates each channel and decompresses and translates the digital signal for viewing over a television; and a remote control.

Investment on the part of subscriber for receiving DD-DIRECT signal is only one time on receive system and no recurring monthly expenditure will have to be incurred by the viewer. As compared to other DTH systems, where a huge activation fee and a monthly subscription fee is charged, the DD DIRECT + can be received without payment of any activation fees. Price of a receive system is around Rs 3000/ to Rs 3500/-. Once the technology gets induced the demand for the receive systems will increase and the prices would further comedown.

Installation of the Receive System:

Installation of the System is very easy and does not take much time. However the viewer has to take the services of skilled technical personnel to get the dish installed and oriented towards the Satellite which is required to be carried out before the system starts receiving the DD DIRECT + signals. Tuning/configuring the STB also is required to be done initially. Tuning procedure is normally supplied by the manufacturer along with the STB.

Some of the parameters which are required to be fed to the IRD are mentioned therein and are also given under the heading 'Satellite in use'.

Satellite in use:

A powerful Satellite NSS 6 is being used to uplink the DD DIRECT + signal. Reception of the signal has been checked to be available throughout the country.

Salient features of the satellite are listed below:

Orbit type: Geosynchronous
Orbital location: 95° E

Service parameters of the bouquet of channels, which have been put into operation at present, are as follows:

Transponder Up/Down Pol. Uplink freq. (MHZ) Downlink freq. (MHZ) Symbol Rate (MHZ) FEC
C1 (36 MHz) V/H 13778 12534 27.5 3/4
C3 (36 MHz H/V 13891 12647 27.5 3/4
C5 (36 MHz) H/V 13973 12729 27.5 3/4

Future of DTH

Opportunities for DTH in India look great. Since cable has penetrated the Indian market in a big way with roughly 40 million C&S homes, it is imperative that in its first few years of operations, paid service of DTH will be focused on a niche market. This niche would basically constitute the rich segment from urban as well as rural areas due to the primary reason of high initial costs for DTH and the associated psychology of people. Since Doordarshan will be starting its novel free-to-air service on Ku band, it is likely to give the prospective private DTH operators tremors and nightmares.

The most attractive part of the Doordarshan platform is going to be its low initial cost and no recurring expenditure. Many cable homes are likely to make a shift to its platform and the service is likely to show its full impact in the rural areas where cable service is not possible.

All in all, there exists a tremendous potential for direct to home broadcast in Indian market and it is projected that within three years, there would be around 2.5 million DTH subscribers in India. This figure is likely to increase due to the increase in TV and Cable households and also the growing multiple TV households, which would form a large percentage of the total subscriber base. Since India's population crossed the one billion mark, it is no surprise that satellite operators and programmers world-wide have set their eyes on the world's largest open market for DTH satellite TV services. The growing popularity of TV as a communication medium has resulted in the TV media sectors undergoing a rapid transformation.

Q. What is DD DIRECT+ ?
A. DD DIRECT+ is India's first and only FTA Direct-To-Home (DTH) Service from Doordarshan.
Q. What is FTA DTH ?
A. Normally all over the world the DTH operator charges activation charges and monthly subscription charges depending upon the channels to be viewed. DD DIRECT+ is unique FTA-DTH (Free to Air DTH) in which the subscriber can buy the receiver from open market and start viewing the programmes without paying a penny.
Q. What is the composition of DD DIRECT+ bouquet ?
A. 17 popular Doordarshan channels form a part of DD DIRECT+ and are listed below.
DD-National DD-News DD-Sports DD-India DD-Bharati DD-Bangla DD-Chandana DD-Gujarati DD-Kashir DD-Malayalam DD-North East DD-Oriya DD-Podhigai DD-Punjabi DD-Sahayadri DD-Sapthagiri DD-Gyandarshan . Apart from these 13 private channels will also in the bouquet. Number of channels are likely to be increased shortly.
Q. What is the maximum number of channels, which can be put on DD DIRECT+ ?
A. There is no limit as such, but the number of channels would be increased in phases depending upon the popularity of the platform.
Q. Has the DD DIRECT+ service been started ?
A. At present test transmission is 'ON' with 17 channels. The service would be commissioned soon with 30 channels.
Q. What is the reach of DD DIRECT+ ?
A. DD-DIRECT is available throughout the country except Andaman & Nicobar Islands and reaches even those places where cable is not available.
Q. What are the advantages of DD DIRECT+ over cable connection ?
A. DD DIRECT+ ensures excellent Picture Quality for all the channels in the bouquet. There is no intermediary and one gets the signals directly from the broadcasters. There are no recurring charges to be paid to anybody to view any of the programmes.
Q. Can DD DIRECT+ be viewed without disconnecting existing cable connection ?
A. Cable connection can be viewed in normal TV mode and DTH channels can be viewed in AV mode by choosing the AV option from the remote of your TV set. DTH channels can be changed using STB remote control.
Q. Once the Dish & Decoder are installed, will it be possible to receive all channels ?
A. Yes all the channels available in the bouquet can be received once the receive equipment is installed.
Q. If there are more than one TV set in one house; will all TV sets require separate STBs/Dishes to receive DD DIRECT+ ?
A. Yes, for each TV a separate STB will be required.

Q. How much is the power consumption of a receive system ?
A. It consumes approximately 40 Watts of electric power.
Q. If one changes his residence or moves to some other city, can he continue to use the same STB and the Dish to receive DD DIRECT+ ?
A. Yes, he can carry the equipment anywhere in India and continue to enjoy DD DIRECT+ after installing dish in the new location.
Q. Will the reception be affected by rains/snowfall ?
A. Though provision exists in the uplink system to take care of fading of the signal due to rains, yet heavy rains may result into outage for a few minutes in the DTH signal.

Q. Where can the Dish be installed ?
A. Dish can be installed on the roof-top or on the wall.
Q. In case one wants to receive paid service of some other DTH service provider, will the same receive segment work ?
A. If one possesses the STB as specified by BIS, one will be able to receive Free-to-Air as well as paid DTH service.

Q. Are any Audio (Radio) channels also available in DD DIRECT+ ?
A. Yes, there would be 20 Audio channels in the bouquet. At present, 5 Radio Channels are available in DD Direct+ Answers to the various queries, based on the E-mails received from the viewers, are as follows:
Q. Is Doordarshan marketing/selling/appointing dealers for the Receive Equipment?
A. NO. The equipment is available in the open market and can be had from any TV Dealer. Doordarshan has not authorized anybody to sell the Receive Equipment nor has given any dealership etc. for the purpose.
Q. Has Doordarshan authorized anybody to collect any money for Receive Equipment or as subscription fee etc?
A. It is clarified that no subscription fee is required to be paid to ANYBODY for receiving the DD DIRECT+ signal. The service is totally free and expenditure involved is only one time i.e. on the Receive Equipment, which is available in the open market and can be purchased and installed through the dealer of this type of equipment.
Q. Is Doordarshan appointing any dealer in future for marketing the platform/receive equipment/ subscribers/customers?
A. NO.
Q. What should be the cost of the Receive Equipment for DD DIRECT+?
A. The indicative price of a Receive System may be about Rs.3000 to Rs.3500. It may however vary with the make of equipment and will also depend upon the local taxes/prevailing custom duty etc.
Q. Can the receive System be installed by the viewer himself?
A. Detailed procedure for installation is given in the website. However, it is advisable to take the help of skilled technical person for the installation of the system.
Q. What are the channels available on the DD DIRECT+ platform?
A. The information is available in the FAQs.
Q. Can the Receive Dish be fixed on the window grill?
A. It may be possible to get the dish fixed on the window grill with slight modification on the grill or the fixtures but it is desirable to fix the dish on rigid wall or roof top .
Q. Will the DD DIRECT+ available in a particular city/locality?
A. The signal can be received anywhere in India except in Andaman and Nicobar.
Q. Which are the dealers of the equipment in a particular city/town?
A. Receive equipment is generally available with the TV dealers / shops.
Q. What are the private channels, which would form a part of DD DIRECT+ bouquet?
A. Negotiations are on with the private broadcaster and the name of the channels are likely to be announced shortly.
Q. Will somebody be able to receive pay service of other DTH operators with the same receive system?
A. If somebody buys the STB with CI slot, he will be able to receive the signal from other pay DTH operators with the help of a CAM module and access card, to be given by the service provider.
Q. Will DD DIRECT+ signal be available to my remote village, where no TV tower is installed?
A. Yes, the DD DIRECT+ signal is made available to you through satellite and doesn't require any tower or cable for its distribution.
Q. Is DD DIRECT+ signal available for reception outside Indian subcontinent?
A. Yes, apart from India the DD Direct signal is available in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and parts of Myanmar and Afghanistan.
Q. Are you providing any value added service like Internet etc. over your DTH platform?
A. No, presently there is no such plan .
  For futher enquiries, contact us at
Dealer's List in Uttar Pradesh

1 M/s Laxmi Radios Shop No.9, Naka Hindola, Lucknow 0522-2692928(O)
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5 Audio Vision A-6, Janpath Martet, Hajratganj, Lucknow 0522-2623177(O)
6 M/s Bharat Electric & Radio Co. Dalmandi, Varanasi. 0542-2412241
7 M/s Network Associates D-58/12 A-3 (Opp. Sigra Petrol Pump, Sigra, Varanasi 0542-2393812 0542-2334489
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