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DD Freedish set to carry 250 TV channels

Public broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) has been promised extra transponder capacity on India’s new GSAT 15 satellite allowing its free-to-air service Freedish to carry up to 250 MPEG-4 TV channels.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley told the Indian Parliament that the Department of Space had agreed in principle to the decision, which will expand DD’s Freedish direct-to-home (DTH) platform substantially from its current offer of 64 MPEG-2 TV channels and 21 All India Radio (AIR) channels.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)-built GSAT-15, which was launched in November 2015, has 24 Ku-band transponders to serve the needs of direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV operators in India as well as VSAT operators who provide DSNG operations to news channels.

Emergency and navigation aids will also be provided by the Indian satellite.

Minister Jaitley also said DD has faced issues in implementing its conditional access system (CAS), but has now decided to adopt the Indian Conditional Access System (Indian CAS), which is being finalised by Department of Electronics and Information Technology. The system, developed by ByDesign India, is based on the DVB-C broadcasting standard.