Doordarshan announced that it is now have the capacity to carry 104 television channels on its free-to-air direct-to-home FreeDish. 24 channels that are being added to the existing 80 channels will be directly be launched on MPEG4 technology. Moreover, DD also confirmed that FreeDish will soon be able to carry up to 250 channels.
Doordarshan has implement the Indian CAS (iCAS) on DD FreeDish Platform. The introduction of iCAS will provide enhanced viewing experience. DD officials said these additional 24 MPEG-4 SDTV channels will be available to viewers in FTA mode. The existing viewers will continue to get 80 SDTV channels, but will have to obtain iCAS-enabled authorised set-top boxes for accessing all 104 channels.
Although FreeDish will remain free to air with no monthly or periodic fee, the viewers will be required to register with DD FreeDish on getting the new STB from Doordarshan authorised STB dealers.The platform has a rich bouquet of channels consisting of 22 Doordarshan channels, two parliamentary channels, seven general entertainment and music channels each, 18 movie channels, 13 news channels, three religious channels and eight channels of other genres.
After active consultation with all the stakeholders, DD started the process for rolling out MPEG-4 STBs for its DD FreeDish with iCAS. Doordarshan has invited e-applications for authorisation / empanelment of STB OEMs to sell / distribute DD-approved CAS-enabled DD FreeDish set-top boxes (STB) in India.