With the 2010 Commonwealth games available for HD broadcast, the DTH companies in India (Dish TV, Reliance Big TV, Airtel Digital TV and Tata Sky) are planning to launch High Definition (HD) set top boxes (STB) this year. Sun DTH already has HD ready boxes and HD service in India.
While Dish TV and Reliance Big TV might launch these boxes as early as June, Airtel & Tata Sky have not yet decided on a launch date, but are planning to launch them ahead of the Commonwealth games.
“We will launch our (HD) service definitely before the Commonwealth Games,” Bharti Airtel chief marketing officer (DTH) Sugato Banerji told reporters on the sidelines of CASBAA India Satellite Industry Forum 2010.
The Commonwealth games are being eyed as the driver to the HD revolution in India just as the Asian Games in 1982 drove the color televisions in India.
The HD boxes would cost up to 30% more than the standard set top boxes and the service would be charged at a premium over the normal DTH services.
India is expected to have 3 million HD ready TVs by next year. Currently, few channels, including Discovery, Colors and National Geographic are available in HD format in India. Around 5 – 6 more channels are expected to be added to this list.
HD content is superior in audio and video quality to traditional TV systems, offering wide angle viewing, considered particularly suitable for watching sporting events and action movies. In addition to a HD readt set top box, the customer must have a HD television set to experience the service. A home theater speaker system can be used to enjoy audio in 5.1 Dolby Digital format, but is optional as the STBs can deliver standard stereo audio as well.
[via Economic Times]
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