Breakneck technological changes are threatening to make the already small global village into global ‘mohalla’. New discoveries are being made even before yesterday’s ‘latest’ discovery is yet to be implemented. Such is the case with the new-fangled DTH, which could be occluded by reportedly superior Ka-band.
DTH services were announced last year with much fanfare but are a non-starter till date due to the confused state of mind of our government. Earlier Doordarshan wanted to take the advantage of this direct to home technology but gave upto after the command was shifted to a new incumbent. All of a sudden it dawned on the authorities that DTH was only for a few and did not fulfill the social objectives of the National Broadcaster. No regulations existed in India that could harm DTH. Taking advantage of the situation and to have the benefit of being the first with their experience in heralding satellite revolution in India, Star TV announced its DTH plans. Hardly had their full-page advertisement appeared in the newspapers that the alarm bells started ringing in the government quarters announcing an apprehension of a similar chaos originating in the skies as it happened on the ground in the case of Cable TV.
First came the channel boom. The skies became overcrowded as more and more transnational broadcasters directed their operations towards this region. Initially all the channels were free-to-air but with the mushrooming of channels and the comparatively low growth of advertising on which the channels were solely dependent forced the broadcasters to go ‘pay’. Making Indian viewers pay for viewing programmes did not prove to be an easy task. As a result pay channels are still struggling to gain a foothold in the country although they have been there since two years.
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