Indian luxury trains - Palace on Wheels and Royal Rajasthan on Wheels - have been equipped with live TV with DishTV, a direct-to-home (DTH) service provider, using the latest technology for entertainment in trains for the first time.
"We started the pilot run about a year back and installed one antenna and the customers are very happy to be at ease even on the move in the train thanks to live TV whether it is the Indian Premier League (IPL) or the recent volcanic eruption," Samir Juneja, project head - Mobile DTH, said, before the departure of the Palace on Wheels from a station in New Delhi on Wednesday.
"A very thin electric antenna has been developed for the first time for the Indian market by high-end technology called phased-array. The train could be moving in any direction and at any speed, it auto tracks our satellite at all times and receives seamless digital signal," he added.
Salil Kapoor, COO of DishTV, said that before "proposing our Mobile Train technology for these prestigious luxury trains we first got our technology approved from RDSO (Research Design and Standards Organisation)".
The service offers 110 digital channels with a bouquet including news, entertainment, regional and sports.
Pramod Sharma, general manager, Rajasthan Tourism Development Corp. Ltd., shared positive response from the passengers.
"Our guests who expect the best in luxury are pleasantly surprised to see Live TV facility available on these trains. They are enjoying IPL and English Premier League matches on the move," said Sharma.
"Being connected with the world with live news from both national and international channels is a great facility when one is travelling through a remote desert," he added.
The second phase looks at live TV on each seat in these trains.
At the moment, there is one antenna on Palace on Wheels and two on Royal Rajasthan on Wheels. The transmission suffers only when a train passes through a tunnel.
"The idea after this is to go to Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains," said Juneja.
DishTV is already providing the service to Kingfisher Airlines and Indian naval ships and private yachts.