DD Freedish, Doordarshan’s free-to-air (FTA) direct-to-home (DTH) service has migrated to GSAT-15 satellite as from 1 February 2016. The DTH service provider was earlier beaming from INSAT-4B, which has been replaced by GSAT-15 along with INSAT-3A.
Consequently, all Freedish customers have to rescan their set-top boxes (STBs). Launched on 11 November 2015, GSAT-15 is located at 93.5°E longitude, where INSAT-3A and 4B are co-located. The satellite carries a total of 24 communication transponders in Ku-band as well as a GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload operating in L1 and L5 bands.
INSAT-4B, which was launched in March 2007, was reduced to half its functions in 2010 after one of its power-generating solar panels developed a snag. INSAT-3A, on the other hand, has completed its 12-year life having been launched in April 2003. Currently, Freedish provides 64 channels including the mandatory Doordarshan channels. The direct-to-home (DTH) platform is planning to expand its capacity to 112 channels by providing MPEG4 STBs.
In his comments Arun Jaitley, minister of Information and broadcasting said that they have complete the hardware installation of the DTH platform up to 112 TV channels. He had also stated that the capacity would be further increased to 250 TV channels as part of the approved 12th Plan. To reach that capacity, the DTH operator will be given additional transponder capacity on GSAT-15 to enhance its capacity to 250 channels.