New Delhi: Overzealousness, coupled with short-sightedness on the part of government officials looking after 2010 Commonwealth Games preparations may leave millions of Indian viewers tuning their TV sets for not-yet-available High Definition (HD) format airing of the much-awaited event.
A simple logic that the country has very few such TV sets in the country and since they are manufactured abroad, it is too costly an affair to import them for the Indian middle- class seems to have skipped the consideration of the policy- makers for the historic event.
Apart from that, even the government’s transmission infrastructure completely lacks in supporting HD-enabled broadcast, as most of Doordarshan’s transmitters are analog- based, thus rendering this type of telecast a near- impossibility, according to a senior DD official.
“The cost of these sets are in the range of Rs40,000 to Rs50,000 and they are not currently available in the country. Besides, as of now there is no policy to enable production of HD-enabled TV sets here,” the official said.
The Ministry for Information and Broadcasting has, meanwhile, sought Cabinet’s approval for setting up studios in Chennai and Kolkata, which would produce programmes in the HD format.
“Currently, we have one such studio each in Delhi and Mumbai, which are capable of producing programmes in HD format,“ the official said.
In order to broadcast Commonwealth Games, signals will have to be aired in HD format. “Countries like Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Canada, where HD format is in use, would be the right holders for the Games.
“HD signals can be converted to standard definition signals for Indian viewers. But the television sets need to be HD format-enabled for receiving these signals,” the official added.
Households with cable and satellite facilities can also receive HD signals through set-top boxes, but HD-enabled TV sets would still be required for clear and sharp images and true to life 3-D pictures, he stressed.
As for the production of such TV sets in India, it can take off in large numbers only if more HD-enabled studios come up in the four metros and the number of programmes produced in HD format increases, which at the moment seems long way off.