Business Standard

DTH players plan high definition content

Jawahar Goel
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In order to break the clutter in the 5-player direct-to-home (DTH) market and to create value-added offerings for the consumers, DTH operators such as Dish TV and Sun Direct are planning to add high-definition (HD) content as a seperate bouquet in the next few months.

This means the consumers will have to pay an additional monthly subscription to get these HD channels. Currently, the popular DTH bouquets (80-120 channels) are available at Rs 150-300 a month across most DTH platforms. The HD bouquet of channels (10-15) may cost 20-30 per cent more than the regular bouquet, sources said.

HD channels simply means television content with high resolution pictures and enhanced sound quality.

Several broadcasters having HD channels like Fox, HBO, ESPN, NGC, Discovery and others are waiting for an opportunity and an addressable platform like DTH or digital cable to launch their channels in India.

While Dish TV will add the HD content once it gets additional transponder space on Protostar satellite next month, Sun Direct is launching its own HD channels on the existing transponder bandwidth. Others like Tata Sky, Big TV and Airtel’s Digital TV are also expected to follow suit, sources said.

“We will add the high-definition content to our offerings once we expand our transponder capacity with the launch of Protostar satellite in January,” Jawahar Goel, MD of Dish TV, country’s largest DTH operator, said. Dish TV currently has over 4.5 million subscribers or a little less than 50 per cent market share in the DTH market.

Sun Direct, the regional DTH service provider, having 1.9 million subscribers, recently ventured into north India and is also looking at adding at least 8-10 high-definition channels to its DTH platform.

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