The 1982 Asian Games gave Indian viewers a gift — colour television. The Common-wealth Games next year is set to unveil the next generation of TV viewing.
Doordarshan (DD) plans to launch high definition television (HDTV) broadcast, which will provide viewers a picture that is 16 times sharper than standard television.
The Information and Broadcasting ministry has asked Cabinet’s approval for studios in four metros to broadcast the Games on HDTV broadcast, already adopted by BBC and Sky Sports.
Broadcasters who have bought rights for the Games will be provided signal in HDTV format. “The HD picture can be shown in cable and satellite homes in India and abroad,” said a Doordarshan official, who was not willing to be quoted, as he is not authorised to speak to media.
But the better quality will come for a price — your television will have to be HD enabled. “Some of the televisions are now HD supported,” said DD’s Engineer-in-Chief R.R. Prasad, who heads the project. Other television sets can be made HD compatible with a help of a set top box, he added.
Since most of DD’s 1,400 transmitters are still on analog mode — which requires an antenna — the HDTV broadcast will not be available to many DD viewers. DD has earmarked Rs 430 crore for digitalisation of its system.
The ministry has asked for Rs 170 crore to set up the studios, saying it will make the broadcast quality equivalent or even better than the Beijing Olympics. “We are getting top international sports consultants to set up high quality broadcast format comparable with best in the world,” BS Lalli, Chief Executive Office of Prasar Bharati Corporation, told Hindustan Times.