Introduction to DTH Services DTH stands for Direct-To-Home television. DTH is defined as the reception of satellite programmes with a personal dish in an individual home. How does DTH work? A DTH network consists of a broadcasting centre, satellites, encoders, multiplexers, modulators and DTH receivers. A DTH service provider has to lease Ku-band transponders from the satellite. The encoder converts the audio, video and data signals into the digital format and the multiplexer mixes these signals. At the user end, there will be a small dish antenna and set-top boxes to decode and view numerous channels.
On the user’s end, receiving dishes can be as small as 45 cm in diameter. DTH is an encrypted transmission that travels to the consumer directly through a satellite. DTH transmission is received directly by the consumer at his end through the small dish antenna. A set-top box, unlike the regular cable connection, decodes the encrypted transmission. Difference between DTH & Cable TV :- The way DTH reaches a consumer’s home is different from the way cable TV does. In DTH, TV channels would be transmitted from the satellite to a small dish antenna mounted on the window or rooftop of the subscriber’s home.
So the broadcaster directly connects to the user. The middlemen like local cable operators are not there in the picture. DTH can also reach the remotest of areas since it does away with the intermediate step of a cable operator and the wires (cables) that come from the cable operator to your house. As we explained above, in DTH signals directly come from the satellite to your DTH dish. Also, with DTH, a user can scan nearly 700 channels! DTH offers better quality picture than cable TV. This is because cable TV in India is analog.
Despite digital transmission and reception, the cable transmission is still analog. DTH offers stereophonic sound effects. It can also reach remote areas where terrestrial transmission and cable TV have failed to penetrate. Apart from enhanced picture quality, DTH has also allows for interactive TV services such as movie-on-demand, Internet access, video conferencing and e-mail. History of DTH in India :- DTH services were first proposed in India in 1996. But they did not pass approval because there were concerns over national security and a cultural invasion.
In 1997, the government even imposed a ban when the Rupert Murdoch-owned Indian Sky Broadcasting (ISkyB) was about to launch its DTH services in India. Finally in 2000, DTH was allowed. The new policy requires all operators to set up earth stations in India within 12 months of getting a license. DTH licenses in India will cost $2. 14 million and will be valid for 10 years. The companies offering DTH service will have to have an Indian chief and foreign equity has been capped at 49 per cent. There is no limit on the number of companies that can apply for the DTH license.
Growth Potential of DTH in India :- Today, India has about 120 million television homes, out of which 75 million are cable TV homes, with the majority share on analog mode. There is a gap of approximately 45 million between these two figures alone. DTH currently caters to about 8. 9 million subscribers . There would always be a lot of areas that cable still cannot reach but DTH can between MSOs (multiple system operators) and DTH. Given the size of the Indian market there would be large volumes in both cable and DTH.
In this industry, 10 years is too long; hence a five-year view would be more realistic. DTH will grab a major share and be at about 20-22 million subscribers by 2013. CAGR (compound annual growth rate) for DTH in India is 30%. DTH Players in India. Sr. No. DTH Service ProvidersOwner 1DD Direct +Prassar Bharati 2dish TVEssel Group. 3Tata SkyTata + Star (JV) 4BIG TVReliance (ADAG) 5Airtel Digital TVAirtel 6Sun Direct Marans and Astro group (JV) 7Videocon D2HVideocon 8ETH Air TVSterling Group Major DTH service Providers in India DD Direct plus :-
Honorable Prime Minister of India inaugurated the service on 16/12/2004. Presently the DD DIRECT+ is envisaged to telecast 56 free-to-air TV channels (containing both Doordarshan and private channels) Satellite Earth Station for uplink of signals has been setup at Delhi. The high power Ku-band transponders of Indian Satellite INSAT-4B at 93. 5? E are being used for hosting the DD DIRECT+ services. DD Direct+ is a free Direct to Home (DTH) service that provides satellite television and audio programming to households and businesses in the Indian subcontinent, owned by parent company Doordarshan.
It primarily competes with cable television and other DTH Service providers such as Dish TV, Tata Sky, Sun Direct, Airtel digital TV and Big TV throughout India. Advantages : (1) DD Direct Plus is India’s first and only DTH service that offers its services absolutely free of cost. No monthly subscriptons to be paid when you are with DD Direct Plus. (2) Small one-time initial investment on STB and Dish and you can use it life-long. (3) Apart from all DD chs, DD Direct Plus offers several popular private FTA (Free-To-Air) chs. (4) As a bonus,
DD Direct Plus also offers additional chs, from Dish TV’s satellite which are FTA from time to time. Disadvantages : (1) DD Direct Plus does not offer any EPG (Electronic Program Guide) facility, which all other DTH operator provides. Due to this, users are not able to check schedules on channels before-hand. (2) New channel addition process is very slow. Several ch wait for approval from Prasar Bharati (DD Direct Plus), but its sloggish attitude makes the addition of new chs too late. (3) DD Direct Plus revises and hikes its carriage fees all of a sudden due to which some channels tend to quit the platform. 4) Signal fluctuation issues occur at certain times, due to which some chs black-out temporarily. dish TV :- dishtv is an Essel Group venture. Essel Group has a vast range of national and global business interests that include media programming, broadcasting & distribution, speciality packaging and entertainment. The businesses have close synergies in the areas of content, distribution and infrastructure. Continuing with the same path-breaking tradition, the group now brings to you a new era of digital quality TV viewing.
It not only broadcasts high quality programmes straight from the satellite to your home, but also gives you absolute and complete control of what you watch and pay for. It is almost like having your own satellite up in the sky. dishtv takes television viewing to the next level as it supports various futuristic features like Electronic Programme Guide, Parental Lock, Capacity up to 400 channels, Games, Interactive TV, Movie on Demand etc. Brought to you by a Zee Network Enterprise, dishtv has changed the face of the Indian television home, bringing it at par with the global entertainment ndustry. Dishtv Becomes India’s First DTH Service To Cross 4. 5 Million Customer Mark 23 Million Happy Indians Have Made Dishtv No. 1 About Dish TV India: Dishtv is India’s No. 1 direct-to-home company and part of the biggest media conglomerate – Zee group. Dishtv has on its platform 225 channels & services including 21 audio channels with registered 4. 5 million subscribers, which is growing. Dishtv has a vast distribution network of about 650 distributors & 45,000 dealers that ps around 6500 towns across the country.
Dishtv has 24* 7 call centre with 1600 seats in 11 different languages to take care of subscriber requirements at any point of time. Today, Dishtv is the leader in DTH sector with a market share of more than 53 per cent of the total subscriber base of 8. 9 million. Dishtv’s footprint covers 5400 towns across India bringing smiles to 23 million Indians. Today every 50th Indian out of the total population of 115 crore is enjoying the Dishtv experience. Advantages : (1) The biggest advantage of Dish TV is its cost. (For old or existing customers at this point).
It offers most of the popular chs at low cost. The highest pack costs Rs. 325 per month, after which only 1 or 2 add-on packs are required to all almost all chs, unlike other DTH where you need several Add-on packs even after subscribing to the highest pack. (2) Dish TV’s satellite being located very near to DD Direct Plus’s satellite, all Dish TV users enjoy the complete ch offering of DD Direct Plus as well. So any new ch added in DD Direct Plus automatically gets added to Dish TV channel offering. (3) The software of Dish TV STBs are stable at the moment.
This makes the switching speed between chs pretty fast. Also very less hang-ups of STBs reported till now. Thanks to Dish TV STBs’ great software. (4) Only Dish TV gives its users access to exclusive never-before seen international channels which are not available even in cable till now. The platter includes MGM, TCM and Boomerang. Airtel Digital TV provides MGM India unlike Dish TV which still carries the direct international feed of MGM. (5) Several new channels added recently are provided at no extra cost for the highest pack users, except for a few chs. (Currently only for existing or old customers).
Whereas other DTH operators, have added the new launches in seperate Add-on Packs. (6) Dish TV has a good no of Transponders to offer more chs to its users, including the recently contracted Protostar which means more chs for its customers. Disadvantages : (1) One of the biggest problems of Dish TV is its Customer Care and Customer Service which is definately not upto the mark. The CC executives lack professionalism in their attitude and after-sales support in certain areas are allegedly poor. (2) Another serious issue is its audio and video quality. Quality on several (but not all) channels on Dish is not upto the mark.
Too much of pixelation is seen on some chs and the audio standard is of course not of true CD quality. (3) Dish TV misses out on few important ch packages which includes the Neo bouquet and the UTV group of chs. Due to this exclusive cricket matches and world TV premier of latest movies on these chs are missed by the Dish TV users. (4) New ch addition process is extremely slow when it comes to Dish TV. It takes a huge amount of time for Dish TV to enhance its bouquet offerings. (5) The time taken for activation of packages after renewal is too long sometimes.
Users had to wait for as long as 5-6 days for activation even after making payments on time. (6) Official website is not updated regularly. Official weblog which was meant for the interaction of Dish TV users, too does not work till date. Tata Sky :- Tata Sky is a JV between the TATA Group and STAR. It was launched on 8th August, 2006. Tata Sky endeavours to offer Indian viewers a world-class television viewing experience through its satellite television service. The Group and its enterprises have been steadfast and distinctive in their adherence to business ethics and their commitment to corporate social responsibility.
This is a legacy that has earned the Group the trust of many millions of stakeholders in measure few business houses anywhere in the world can match. STAR is a leading media and entertainment company in Asia. STAR’s parent company, News Corporation, owns an International group of DTH businesses that include BSkyB in UK, Sky Italia in Italy and Foxtel in Australia. How does Tata Sky work? 1. Tata Sky uplinks all channels from broadcasters to its satellite (INSAT 4A). 2. The satellite sends these channels in digital format to the minidish fixed outside your home. . The minidish relays the channels to the digicomp which decodes the channels and sends them to your television, giving you an unparalleled television viewing experience with DVD quality picture and CD quality sound. Does the service get affected by rains? A few minutes of outage might occur during rains. This phenomenon is called RAIN OUTAGE and occurs in DTH platforms across the world. It will result in your television losing reception for some time. We have tried to cut down this time so it might happen only for one or two minutes in a year.
This too is automatically detected and gets corrected by itself. Tata Sky offers :- Tata Sky offers over 160 channels and services, designed to suit the varying needs of our subscribers. The packages include a wide array of television channels in DVD quality picture and CD quality sound and a host of new-age interactive services (Actve Cooking, Actve Wizkids, Actve Learning, Actve Stories, Actve Sports, Actve Games, Actve Matrimony, Actve STAR News, Actve Astrology, Actve Darshan and Actve Doordarshan). Showcase can be ordered with any of the Base packages.
Different packages available on Tata Sky :- Base packages, designed to offer maximum choice. » Super Hit Pack: Rs 99 per month » South Starter Pack: Rs 125 per month » Family Pack: Rs 200 per month » Super Saver Pack: Rs 260 per month » South Value Pack: Rs 260 per month » South Jumbo Pack: Rs 310 per month Tata Sky also offers Add-On packages in addition to the Base packages. We can choose from » Education Gold Pack: Rs 30 per month or Rs 300 per annum » Lifestyle Gold Pack: Rs 45 per month or Rs 450 per annum » Sports Gold Pack: Rs 30 per month Sports Platinum Pack: Rs 65 per month » ESPN & STAR Sports Pack: Rs 40 per month » A La Carte Channels: Ten Sports Rs 15 per month, STAR Cricket Rs 25 per month ,Topper Rs 1010 annually Tata Sky’s SMS number :- SMS number is 56633. You can SMS only from your Registered Mobile Number (RMN). To register, send RMN to 56633 from your mobile phone. Advantages : (1) India’s first and only DTH service to have made a joint venture with a reputed international DTH brand, Sky, which is famous for its exquisite technology. 2) The audio and video quality of TataSky stands up to the expectations of its users. Customers have reported about TataSky’s true DVD quality picture and CD quality sound. (3) Only TataSky gives its users an exclusive access to some authentic international channels which includes BBC Entertainment and Ceebebies. (4) TataSky offers uniform volume level across all channels, unlike other DTH services where the volume level keep varying with each ch. (5) The STB of TataSky is stable enough.
There has been very less or no reports of TataSky STB bugs or issues till date. (6) TataSky users argue that its Customer Service is satisfactory. Issues are addressed on time and the after-sales support is great. Disadvantages : (1) TataSky has too many Add-on packs. Several add-on packs need to be subscribed to for enjoying all the chs, even after going with the highest pack. This makes the over-all package too costly. (2) The channel strength of TataSky is less compared to other DTH operators. This is because of the less no of Transponders purchased by them.
Reliance BIG TV :- 9th Aug. 2008. Launched. Launched in August this year, Big TV is available at over one lakh retail outlets across 6,500 towns along with over 2,000 exclusive Reliance branded stores. Big TV to slash prices by over 40% Ashish Sinha / New Delhi October 17, 2008, 0:07 IST (Business Standard 15/12/2008) Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (R-ADAG) is all set to begin a price war in the direct-to-home (DTH) market by offering its connection about 43 per cent lower than any of the existing players.
Big TV will offer its DTH service for Rs 1,490, while the lowest-priced connection is currently being offered by Dish TV at Rs 2,190, followed by Tata Sky at Rs 2,400. Big TV, which is the fourth entrant in the DTH space, is selling its service Rs 700 lower than its competitors. “This will be one of the biggest price cut offer by a DTH player for the coming Diwali season,” says Arun Kapoor, chief executive of Big TV. Reliance ADA Group has launched its DTH/satellite TV venture BIG TV, with 202 channels including 50 subscription VOD channels.
The company says it is targeting 40 percent of the market within a year of launch, a very ambitious target, but will use all its muscle to promote it, including broadband Internet, mobile phones, home video, film production and the Adlabs cinema chain, reports Variety. Meanwhile, the company also mentioned that its IPTV service is ready and will launch within this year. Reliance has a deal with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) under which the software giant supplied the IPTV software to the company for a $500 million licensing fee. BIG TV – 1 Millian. As on 25/11/08. (Source :- Televisionpoint. om) Future Investment Plan Right now this is the stage where the industry is in a phase of building the market. Just a few months ago when we launched BIG TV, the market penetration was in the range of 5–7% and today it has crossed 10%. So this is the stage when everyone is investing in terms of building and expanding the market and I am pleased to inform you that in the three months that we have been in the market it has expanded by 60%. In June-July the net addition in the month was around 600,000 and now we have crossed a million or will be around a million this month Advantages : 1) Big TV is has incorporated MPEG-4 technology unlike other DTH who are still on MPEG-2. The most basic difference between the two is that MPEG-4 is capable of carrying more chs in its offerings which means more chs can be added within a short p of time. After Dish TV, Big TV offers the highest no of chs. (2) Another merit of Big TV is its awesome picture and audio quality which are much better than any other existing DTH. For the first time, a DTH that lives up to the expectations for a true digital quality experience. (3) Big TV is perhaps the only DTH that offers several chs in its base pack.
In fact, Big TV’s package and pricing is absolutely tailor-made to suit the exact needs of the customers. With this advantage, customer get more chs by paying less. (4) The Active or rather “Select” services on Big TV allows users to watch 12 chs at a time on a single screen unlike other DTH where you can watch a max of 6 – 8 chs. (5) Rain-fade is an issue that is common for all DTH. But its Big TV, so you can enjoy your favourite programs even when it rains. Big TV’s advanced technology lets you watch chs even when it rains heavily.
Chs may blak-out for just about 5-6 seconds whereas in other DTHs, ch black-out lasts the entire length of the rain. Disadvantages : (1) The biggest problem of Big TV is its STB software which is still now not stable. Customers across India have reported about STB hanging problems innumerable no of times. STB gets over-heated, hangs several times, slow channel navigation, does not work after a manual update are some of the many issues that keep occcuring to the Big TV STBs. (2) Another demerit of Big TV is its Customer Care and Customer Service. The CC Executives lack professionalism in their behaviour.
The after-sales support is too not good. (3) Incorrect package activations have happened with several users at times where the customer was wanting one pack and some other pack was activated instead. (4) The Big TV logo placed on the top left corner of screens is quite big and not transparent which is irritating. Whereas the logos of other DTH services are relatively smaller and of watermark type. Airtel Digital TV . (“Come Home To The Magic”) Bharti Airtel Limited announced the launch of Airtel digital TV , its Direct To Home (DTH) Satellite TV service.
Airtel digital TV, which is a perfect blend of latest technology, unique features, and great content, promises to redefine the digital home entertainment experience. The service will be available to customers through 21,000 retail points including Airtel Relationship Centres in 62 cities across the country starting October 9, 2008 . With over 175 channels, the packages will start from Rs. 2499 for a six-month subscription in which the channel price band will range from Rs. 99 to Rs. 424. Vision & promise By 2010 Airtel will be the most admired brand in India:
Loved by more customers Targeted by top talent Benchmarked by more businesses Airtel always think in fresh and innovative ways about the needs of our customers and how we want them to feel. We deliver what we promise and go out of our way to delight the customer with a little bit more Besides the latest technology, Airtel digital TV brings many firsts to the DTH segment in India : •Universal remote for both Set Top Box and TV that offers enhanced viewer convenience; •Highest Set Top Box memory enabling more interactive applications; •Exclusive content such as World space Radio; Interactive applications such as iMatinee (Book cinema tickets), iTravel (Browse and book travel packages), iShop (Shop on TV for your favorite brands), iCity (Get your city’s information) and Widgets (Update yourself on latest stock news). 8 screen iNews, 2 / 4 screen iSports . •Amazing games with high quality graphics, refreshed every 6 weeks •Audio gain control for uniform audio levels across all channels •Simple and intuitive search •On screen account meter •Last viewed channel in case of power disruption/switch off •Low battery indicator on the screen
These great viewing experience and unique features are backed by 24×7 customer care available in 8 different languages and a team of 800 professionally trained service engineers. Market Shares: Currently, the market is dominated by Essel Group’s Dish TV DTH service (about 4 million subscribers) followed by Tata Sky (2. 7 million subscribers), Sun Direct (1 million subscribers) and Big TV ( half million subscribers). State-owned Prasar Bharati’s DTH service DD Direct Plus is the only free-to-air service, where consumers do not pay any monthly subscription fees.
According to sources, DD Direct Plus has a subscriber base of about 3-4 million subscribers, mostly in the remote corners of the country not connected by terrestrial or cable television. Advertising Strategy: Airtel has also launched a teaser campaign for its DTH service, called ‘See you at home soon’. It has four teasers – Masai (infotainment), Cowboy (movies), Band (music) and Meercats (kids). The common element is all these teasers is a big, red couch. Advantages : (1) Airtel Digital TV offers true DVD quality picture and CD quality sound which are absolutely flawless.
So its customers can be assured of its crystal-clear video and stereophonic sound. (2) The external appreacnce of Digital TV STB is sleek and stylish unlike the STB of other DTH operators which are huge and bulky. Digital TV’s STB proves to be a fantastic eye-candy. (3) For the first time, Digital TV is a DTH that offers universal remotes for its users. So no more hassle of using two remotes at a time. (One for TV, the other for STB). Digital TV’s STB remotes (after programming) will work with both your TV as well with the STB. (4) Only Digital TV exclusively offers 10 popular and premium World-Space satellite radio chs to its subscribers.
There is so much to hear, when you have World Space Radio with you, another first from Digital TV. (5) The Dish antenna of Digital TV is considerably bigger than other DTH dishes. This makes sure that you dont loose connectivity even when it rains wild. The bigger dish has been brought up keeping this aspect in mind. Disadvantages : (1) The only disadvantage of Digital TV is its price which is comparetively higher than any other DTH. The highest pack goes up to Rs. 424 per month which comes out to be too costly keeping in mind the present cut-throat competition in the DTH market.
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