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Prasar Bharati invites proposals for report on digital terrestrial TV

MUMBAI: To help the national exchequer save money by switching over to digital transmission, public service broadcaster Prasar Bharati is seeking to formulate a preliminary project report (PPR) on the ‘Roadmap for roll-out of proposed Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) service’.

Accordingly, the pubcaster has asked interested parties to submit their proposal explaining the technical and financial aspects of DTT.

While Prasar Bharati is not expecting the PPR to be exhaustive, it is looking for the following aspects of DTT:

  • World broadcast scenario: Key learning
  • Broadcast scenario in India: DTH vs cable vs terrestrial
  • Roll-out strategy: Identification of key markets & audiences
  • Content availability & suitability for DTT, bouquet composition
  • Content choices: National/regional/local
  • Content tiers: FTA & scope for value-added services
  • DTT radio development & opportunities
  • DTT on mobiles/hand-held devices & development of ecosystem
  • Challenge from telecom & other emerging technologies
  • Private-sector participation in PB’s DTT: Various options
  • Financial models & return on capital: Medium & long term
  • Utilisation of existing Infrastructure, manpower, resources
  • STB, IDTV mandate, taxation/concession & related policy Issues
  • Efficient spectrum planning for maximising digital dividend

Prasar Bharati said that in line with the dominant and ‘proven’ global trend, India has adopted DVB-T2 and T2-lite standard for its DTT network and the pubcaster is in the process of installing 63 transmitters across the country.

“However the success of Prasar Bharati’s ‘digital leap’ will be judged on the basis of its efficacy, as DTT presents altogether a new set of opportunities and challenges in a changed broadcast environment. To optimise the opportunities and to chart a course for the future, a well-considered business strategy and model is essential,” it said.

It has thus called for the proposals from an outside agency with prior experience in broadcasting and DTT roll-out. The technical proposal will have to include a summary of the agency’s relevant experience highlighting its suitability for this study.

The last date for submission of the proposal is 22 December.

It may be recalled that the Prasar Bharati Committee, constituted under technocrat Sam Pitroda, had first suggested in its report that the pubcaster may save Rs 635 crore (Rs 6.35 billion) annually by shifting to DTT.

Moving from terrestrial to satellite will not only meet all the requirements of the public broadcast service, but also improve the overall customer experience of TV households on terrestrial and analogue cable, according to the observation of the Group on Technology of the Prasar Bharati Committee.

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Switchover to satellite may help Prasar Bharati to save Rs 635 cr annually