Ending its dependence on a foreign satellite, Doordarshan will switch over to a more advanced Indian satellite for its direct-to-home (DTH) service from May.
The switch over will save five million dollars in foreign exchange that was being paid annually to the American company owning the NS-6 satellite on which DD's DTH service has been beamed so far.
Indian satellite INSAT-4B is due to be launched next month and Prasar Bharati will use it for Doordarshan's DTH service when its contract with the American firm ends in May.
"The American company had approached us for renewal. But I turned it down. We are going to have our state-of-the-art satellite, so why depend on them and pay foreign exchange to the tune of five million dollars?" Prasar Bharati CEO BS Lalli said.
All that DTH viewers will have to do to get programming from the new satellite is to slightly rotate their dish antennas from the existing 95 degrees to 93.5 degrees.
"In very few cases, re-programming of set-top boxes may be required. It is just a two-minute job. Our technical staff at local DD Kendras will help DTH subscribers," Lalli said.
"Moreover, the satellite location of 93.5 degrees is nearer to India, which means better visual quality."