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Dish TV plans DTH services in cars, trains

Ashish Sinha  |  New Delhi 

Need to leave for an appointment just as Tendulkar comes in to bat? Why not install a TV in your car and watch his innings on the road?
After direct-to-home (DTH), get ready for direct-to-car services. Aimed at consumers travelling in chauffeur-driven cars, Dish TV, Zee group's DTH arm, is in the final stages of implementing its DTH services in cars.
DTH in cars will work with the help of a special auto-tracking antenna that will be mounted on the roof of the car.
The antenna will automatically track Dish TV's satellite placed in orbit at 36,000 km, from where signals will be fed to the set top box (STB) placed near the television set inside the car. This will enable seamless transmission of satellite channels in cars.
The DTH service in cars will provide over 125 satellite channels. The company says it will not take more than three months to implement the technology after it finalises the hardware supplier for the special antennas.
The company is currently talking to two suppliers "" Camos of Korea and SpeedRay1000 of Israel. "We are testing both," says a senior Dish TV executive.
The bill is currently high "" Rs 15,000 for the antennas and set-top box, which is more than three times what you pay for DTH at home.
When contacted, Jawahar Goel, managing director, Dish TV, declined to share the pricing strategy for its direct-to-car venture.
"These innovations are part of our overall strategy of providing Dish TV everywhere. We just rolled out Dish TV's interface with computers that will allow access to Dish TV on computers. Expansion in cars, buses and trains is a logical extension of our vision," he added.
At present, Dish TV is available in six Kingfisher Airlines aircraft. Dish TV is also available in premium segment special utility vehicles (SUVs priced over Rs 12 lakh) but costs about Rs 40,000 due to the heavy weight of the equipment.
"We are working on developing the back-end to enable the usage of Dish TV in mid-segment cars, luxury buses and trains," says Goel.
Dish TV is also in talks with luxury bus manufacturers like Ashok Leyland and Volvo to replicate this technology in buses. According to industry estimates, about 100 luxury coaches are sold every month.
A similar project was undertaken by public broadcaster Prasar Bharati two years ago but could not be implemented owing to the high cost implications.

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First Published: Mon, July 30 2007. 00:00 IST