BHUBANESWAR : Ramping up the roll-out of digital terrestrial transmission, public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has directed the regional heads of Doordarshan for shutting down its existing analog terrestrial transmitters (ATTs) by March 2022.
As many as 41 ATTs, five high power transmitters (HPTs) and 27 low power transmitters (LPTs) in Odisha will be closed. A majority of 23 LPTs are located in the left-wing extremist (LWE) affected areas in aspirational districts of the State. The five HPTs that will be shut down are Balasore, Berhampur, Bhawanipatna and Sambalpur (2).
Eight terrestrial transmitters will closed by October 31, 2021 while another 10 ATTs will be switched off by March 31, 2022. The balance 23 LPTs in aspirational districts will be shut down by March 31, 2022, said an order of Prasara Bharati to regional head of DD.
Zonal heads (Broadcast) of all the zones have been directed to operate these analogue transmission system in single shift with immediate effect and rationalise the staff strength. “Analogue transmission has become obsolete. Now DD is functioning on digital mode and shifting from standard definition (SD) to high definition (HD) which requires digital transmission with high quality signal and better reception,” said a senior technical officer of DD Bhubaneswar.
Sources said this transformation needs minimal staff strength for better technical performance. Around 50 per cent engineering staff will become redundant due to adoption of better technology. “Prasar Bharati is actively contemplating to hire professional staff on contractual basis. Contractual system attracts better manpower than deployment of casual staff,” it maintained.
Prasar Bharati is planning to go for a lucrative VRS scheme like the one it offered for BSNL to cut the huge and redundant engineering staff. Technical experts said digital terrestrial TV will enable better quality of reception, efficient use of TV spectrum and enable the public broadcaster to provide multiple services in the same channel bandwidth.