DDK Trivandrum goes digital, curtains down on analogue terrestrial transmission


Trivandrum: It was a well-planned and deliberate death but very few people seem to have noticed it. It was a blank blue television screen that greeted some people on the morning of March 1st, for those who were still using the good old TV antenna, the traditional way, to see Doordarshan (DD). While most thought it was a temporary issue which would sort out on its own, some did try to check their antenna connection and some took their TV sets to a repair centre only to hear the news of the sad demise of the analogue terrestrial transmission of DD.

It took some time for the news to sink in that Doordarshan Kendra, Thiruvananthapuram has given a silent burial to the analogue mode of terrestrial transmission of DD National and DD News channels. The analogue transmitter of DDK, TVM was switched off on the night of February 28, 2018, thus bring to an end an era of the free-to-air analogue terrestrial TV transmission. Remember those days spent turning the antenna pole to get the best signal? Those 20 ft long big pole antennas were later replaced by smaller internal antennas and now, even that is history.

Confirming the news, T J Joseph, Dy Director (Engg), DDK, TVM said, “Yes, the analogue transmission from Thiruvananthapuram Kendra has been discontinued from March 1st as we have gone digital. The Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) transmission was on a test-mode from November 2017, and now five channels of Doordarshan are available as free-to-air, instead of the earlier two. All other areas in Kerala will continue to have analogue terrestrial TV transmission as DD is migrating to digital in a phased manner.”

The DTT broadcasting will provide multiple programme channels from one transmitter, better video and audio quality, availability of signals on mobile and portable devices. Digital TV supports Standard Digital TV (SDTV), High Definition TV (HDTV) and Ultra High Definition TV (UHDTV) standards.

So what are the options available now to get Doordarshan?

1. Buy a DTT (DVB-T2) Set Top Box to be used with Indoor/Outdoor antenna for regular TV sets

2. Buy an integrated digital TV set (iDTV) with a built-in set-top box or DVB-T2 tuner

3. Buy DVB-T2 Dongles for OTG enabled smartphones, tablets or laptops which can be used with the ‘TV-on-Go’ app, available on Google Play

4. Opt for DD Free Dish (earlier DD Direct+), Doordarshan’s multi-channel Free-To-Air Direct to Home (DTH) service

5. Go for a regular cable TV connection

6. Get a regular DTH connection

Note: As of now, DVB-T2 Set Top Box or Dongle is only available for online purchase

The first 1 KW Low Power Transmitter (LPT) of Doordarshan in Kerala, at Thiruvananthapuram, was commissioned on November 19, 1982. This was later upgraded to a 10 KW High Power Transmitter (HPT) on April 14, 1985. This transmitter was primarily used for DD National and DD Malayalam channel on the same frequency. The second channel, DD Metro (now DD News) was relayed by DDK TVM from April 01, 1994.

Anil Philip
Kerala Biz News


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