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Doordarshan’s Freedish is switching from MPEG2 to MPEG4 compression and this will allow the number of its FreeDish channels to expand from today’s 80 channels to an initial 104, and potentially 112.
In its MPEG4 iteration viewers will need a ‘smart card’ to decode the soft-encrypted channels.
Encoding services are coming from Bangalore-based ByDesign’s Indian Conditional Access System (iCAS). Bydesign was awarded the contract by India’s Department of Electronics & Information Technology. ByDesign says that their iCAS system will extend broadcaster’s business model, as well as comply with India’s requirement for all set-top boxes to be addressable.
Part of the new capacity will be allocated to a batch of 32 DTH channels, due for launch in September, and designed for education purposes. Two transponders have been booked on G-SAT 15, and test channels are already on air.
September 15th will see Doordarshan auction a batch of channel slots.