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January 2018

The DISH DOCTOR section of our magazine has proved to be extremely popular.

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Q: The Doordarshan National Channel is now available in High Definition, Free-to-Air as you have indicated in your November issue Channel Guide.

We have successfully received this using an ordinary MPEG-4 HD Satellite receiver.

On our network, all HD channels are charged extra, as a separate HD bouquet. If we add DD National HD to this bouquet we will be indirectly charging for the channel. Is this legally permitted? Will we get into trouble?

S. Lakdawalla, Surat.

ANS: You can certainly add DD National HD to your HD channel Pay bouquet. You can even charge an a-la-carte price for the DD National HD channel even though you receive it free from Doordarshan.

There is no pre-condition that the cable network/MSO can charge only for pay channels.

Cable networks incur an infrastructure cost at the headend for the satellite receivers and headend processing equipment as well as for distribution of all cable TV channels. As a result, cable networks can charge for any TV channel that they deliver to their subscribers.

Do note that even the currently applicable TRAI tariff order permits charging upto ₹ 70 (plus tax) for a minimum of 36 DAS FTA channels.


Q: We have applied for a DAS MSO license, for our network situated in a DAS Phase-3 territory.

It is now 3 months, and we have still not received a reply.

What should we do?

(Name & Details Withheld On Request)

ANS: DAS license applications are to be submitted to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. The MIB has specifically mentioned that applications should be made directly to it, and not through any agents or brokers.

Please directly call the Section Officer: 011- 23387774, in the DAS section of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.


Q: I receive an input feed from a large MSO, that is situated 80km away from my control room.

The MSO provides me 200 Standard Definition channels, via Airtel's underground fiber, which is paid for by the MSO. The MSO charges me ₹ 70 per STB. I have 1,000 STBs.

For long, I have been requesting the MSO for High Definition channel, but they have refused, saying that they will have to buy lots more bandwidth from Airtel, for extra HD channels.

Is this true? I want to know how much more the MSO will have to spend to supply me HD channels.

Thank You

Via WhatsApp,
Name & location withheld on request.

ANS: What the MSO has told you is correct. Each HD channel requires approximately 1.5 times the bandwidth of an SD channel.

Hence, if you require 50 HD channels it will use the bandwidth of 75 additional SD channels.

We do not know the bandwidth charge levied on the MSO by Airtel, but you can calculate the approximate incremental / extra % bandwidth that will be required.

If the MSO were to send you 50 extra HD channels, they will need to purchase (50x1.5)/200= 37.5% extra bandwidth from Airtel, for the 50 HD Channels.

Do note that the HD Channels will provide you and the MSO higher monthly subscriptions from each consumer.

Your HD consumers will also require HD STBs to receive HD channels.

Dish Doctor
Ask us any questions or problems faced by you in the course of your business. Our DISH DOCTOR will try and answer them in the best way possible, in the simplest terms, avoiding the unnecessary use of technical terms where possible. The service is available free to our readers and subscribers.

Send Your Queries To: Dish Doctor, 701-B Churchgate Chambers, 5 New Marine Lines, Churchgate, Mumbai - 400020. or Email: Now you can WhatsApp Your Dish Doctor Queries To: +91-7021850198