India’s largest public broadcaster- Prasar Bharati has plans to let users watch TV on their smartphones for free. You may say that there is nothing new about this plan as we can easily watch live TV on our mobiles using the internet. But, how many of you really use that service for watching live matches on your smartphone?
The problem with watching live TV on mobiles is that it works only on 3G internet, and consumes a lot of expensive high-speed data too. That’s the main reason why most of us don’t watch TV on our mobiles?
What good would be a technology if it is too expensive for the public?
Prasar Bharati understands this and will let users watch live TV on their mobiles using DVB-T technology. At first, Prasar Bharati will only launch a bouquet of 20 free to air channels for mobiles after partnering up with private media houses.
DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting- Terrestrial) is a European standard for broadcasting digital terrestrial TV. It employs audio and video compression for transferring data in MPEG format using Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) modulation.
Speaking about Prasar Bharati’s plans, its CEO Jawhar Sircar said, “At present you have choice of dish, cable and antenna. The fourth choice that will come up is digital antenna, which will offer a bouquet of 20 free channels on TV this year and next year on mobile.”
Initially the service would be available only in Delhi and Mumbai. Prasar Bharati will use ‘DVB-T2 Lite’ technology for broadcasting Doordarshan (DD1) which can be accessed via a specially designed dongle. The big plan is to convince mobile companies for embedding this chip into their upcoming mobile phones.
With this chip embedded, users will not need mobile internet or WiFi to watch channels – this chip will act as a receiver to get satellite TV signals.
“We now do not get to watch TV during 10 – 12 hours of office time. Most of the things happen on either tablet or mobile phone. There are so many people who travel daily and can watch channels on mobile phone as long as their battery supports without paying for the service”, said Sircar. “It will be supported by ad revenue”, he added.
He said that DVB-T technology is very popular in European countries because of its cost efficiency. “If 44 countries are working well on terrestrial, why are we junking it?” he argued.
We really don’t know why such a useful technology hasn’t been introduced in India till date. It would have proven to be very useful during the recent J&K floods, but as the saying goes, better late than never. We are really looking forward to its public launch. At least we will be able to enjoy live cricket matches for free! How would watching live TV on mobile change your life?