Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati will shut down its existing analogue system of terrestrial transmission in 19 cities by this month as part of its plans to migrate to digital mode completely, CEO Shashi S Vempati said today. In the second phase, Prasar Bharati plans to move another 44 cities to digital terrestrial transmission in a couple of years. "In 19 cities, we already have digital terrestrial transmitters and in those cities by the end of this month we would shut down the analogue completely," Vempati told reporters here on the sidelines of CII BIG Picture Summit. He said the capacity of transmission through the digital system will increase to 7 to 12 terrestrial channels as compared to just one in the analogue system. The migration to digital system will also open the window of opportunity to carry private channel on Prasar Bharati's platform, he said. "We are doing the exercise on what is the market potential and what is the consumer interest so that we could invite others to put their contents," Vempati said. TRAI has already given us recommendation of opening up of digital terrestrial (transmission) to the private sector, he added. When asked how much time would it take to cover the 44 cities in the second stage, he said "may be couple of years." On plans of launching new channels, he said: "We are already working in the direction.
One of the things is that DD News is a bilingual channel and we would move in a direction where we would have a Hindi channel and English channel." Naturally, the English news channels would have a global focus and that would become Doordarshan's platform for global voice, he added.