Direct-to-Home (DTH) is state of the art and advanced technology of receiving satellite television that is likely to enter Pakistan very soon; this is what Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of State for Information, has stated while chairing a meeting in Islamabad. This technology is aimed at providing quality entertainment to the people, she said.
The first step was taken in this direction when Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) conducted an auction of worth Rs. 14.7 billion for three DTH licences a year ago. Later on we saw a Chinese manufacturer ZTE being vigorous to start its DTH services very soon. Although the DTH services are around the corner in the country but many people are unaware of this technology. Let us go through the following lines to have a first hand knowledge of DTH.
What is DTH Technology?
The DTH technology enables a broadcasting company to directly beam the signal to subscriber’s TV set through a receiver that is installed in the house; simply eliminating any cable or whatsoever. However, a small dish is placed outside that receives signals and broadcasts the transmission onto a television screen.
The signals are digital by nature and are received directly from the satellite. These digital signals provide better quality in all features and make viewing an absolute pleasure. With DTH, you will also be able to view more number of High Definition (HD) channels with an independence to customize the package as per your choice.
DTH will definitely cut into the existing cable user base. It will make the local cable operator less important and take business away from them but, it will give consumers greater choice.
Is it different from Cable TV?
As earlier stated the DTH technology uses satellite signals through a small dish placed in on a window, rooftop or open courtyard. There is no third party like cable operator is involved as the broadcaster directly connects to the user.
Moreover, DTH may cover any remote area since it does away with the intermediate step of a cable operator and the wires (cables) that come from the cable operator to your house. As we explained above, in DTH signals directly come from the satellite to your DTH dish.
How will DTH operate in Pakistan?
As per the DTH action terms and conditions, the DTH operator is bound to shortlist the eligible and PEMRA approved channels both from free-to-air and encrypted nature and downlink the same on its DTH station. Not to mention, the operator will have to pay for the encrypted channels to the channel operator in accordance with the PEMRA prescribed tariff.
The DTH operator will further have full control of editing, as per PEMRA guidelines where required, before combining into one bouquet and up linking to a designated satellite with adequate transmitting power for distribution to the subscribers.
The subscribers are then able to receive the television channels through a small dish antenna and digital decoder on payment of subscription charges to the DTH operator.
Although the DTH users can scan over 700 channels but the final list will be approved by PEMRA based on the study of local needs, public interest, availability of channels and their conformity with the Code of Conduct.