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Doordarshan makes debut in high definition broadcast with Zubin Mehta concert

The Zubin Mehta concert in Srinagar on Saturday will be India's debut in high definition broadcast on the international platform. Chetan Chauhan reports.

delhi Updated: Sep 05, 2013 19:48 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times

The Zubin Mehta concert in Srinagar on Saturday will be India's debut in high definition broadcast on the international platform.

India's public broadcaster - Doordarshan - for the first time will indigenously telecast the show live on high definition (HD) across 40 nations from Shalimar Garden on the banks of picturesque Dal Lake after tasting failure during the Commonwealth Games.

The HD signal has viewing clarity of six times the normal standard definition (SD). Most events in the developed countries are shown on HD whereas SD is a technology of the developing world.

The public broadcaster had ordered high definition cameras and outstation broadcasting (OB) vans and decided to have HD compliant studios - one each in Delhi and Mumbai - for the games.

The equipment had reached after the games and the studios were completed only recently. As a result, production of the games was outsourced to a London based company SIS Live.

Almost three years after the games got over, DD is finally equipped to telecast an event on high definition as done in most of the developed countries.

Its first test would be with Mehta's concert, which will be shared with the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation and Euro-Vision for telecast for broadcast in different European countries.

"Everybody associated with the telecast is a Doordarshan person," Prasar Bharati chief executive officer Jawahar Sircar told HT before leaving for Srinagar to over-see the preparations.

About 100 personnel from DD studios across India had been roped in for the 90 minute mega-show with Bollywood actress Gul Panag as an anchor.

German ambassador in India Michael Steiner was initially sceptical about DD's capability to broadcast the show - Ehsaas-e-Kashmir - but Sircar assured that international quality feed will be generated without any foreign technical assistance.

DD got in touch with German international public broadcaster DW (Deutsche Welle) and got acquaintaned with the latest international best practices. "We were able to comply with strict requirements for international broadcast," Sircar said.

The public broadcaster's preparation for the show is bigger than for an international cricket match. In all, 14 high-definition cameras will deployed to provide signals from all angles. Two OB vans have been dispatched to Srinagar to provide uninterrupted coverage.

First Published: Sep 05, 2013 19:45 IST