There are many Indians who still depend upon free channels like Doordarshan to watch TV. The downfall of the public broadcaster’s channels is seen since many years after the digitization of TV channels. They are now planning to let the Indians watch the TV channels on their smartphones without having the need internet or telecom broadband.
To start this, the Prasar Bharati is planning to create 20 free-to-air channels which will include popular DD channels. Few of them will also be broadcasted by the private broadcasters as well. The aim of the broadcasters is to reach more people and youngsters who spend most of their time on their smartphones.
“When the world was moving from terrestrial to the satellite, Doordarshan was only moving backward. Now the only way to leapfrog is to use the existing infrastructure along with new technologies,” said Jawahar Sircar, CEO at Prasar Bharati. He further added that, “Prasar Bharati just needs to upgrade its existing infrastructure to achieve this goal.”
How Will It Actually Work?
Well, it is not yet clear that which device will be used to receive the signals transmitted from the installed transmitters at the broadcasters’ area. It might be an external dongle or a chip installed in the phone to receive the signals. The inbuilt chip could be built by the leading smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung, Apple, Microsoft and HCL. Similar kind of chip was designed and installed in the smartphones for FM radio channels earlier.
The broadcaster, Prasar Bharati has written to the governing ministry of information and broadcasting regarding the plan with a blueprint. At present, the in-house tests are going on for the transmitters and the imported dongles used in Delhi.
What to Expect?
According to the broadcasters, the users will be able to watch 20 TV channels on their smartphone with just a single broadcast service. Besides that, 20 radio channels will also be added. And the important thing is all the channels can be viewed for free and that too for the life time. Neither the internet nor the set-top box will be required to watch these channels on your mobile phones.
“This can work only if the technology is outstanding and unique from what’s already available,” said Timmy Kandhari, a senior media expert and managing director of Mumbai-based advisory firm Sapphire Professional Services. He further added that, “Many phones like iPhones don’t even have a provision to use a dongle and private broadcasters are already creating their own platforms for smartphones.”
The plan is to charge the private broadcasters to let the users watch their channels for free. Prasar Bharati also plans to leave it to the private broadcasters to generate the revenues from the advertisements.
There is no such information about the specific time to launch this service. But yes, if this happens, many Indians will get a chance to watch over 20 TV channels on their smartphones without having to spend the data charges.