Subscribers in Pakistan are receiving satellite channels beamed through various satellites.The most widespread reception method is through an intermediary in the form of a cable operator. The cable operator establishes his own system comprising Dish Antennas, Modulators, Decoders, Coaxial cable and line amplifiers etc. for relaying these channels to the subscribers.
One method of direct reception of these channels which can render greater and better-quality coverage is the Direct-to-Home satellite television service. Through this service, subscribers or end users, receive signals directly from geostationary satellites. Signals are broadcast in digital format at microwave frequencies. The quality of picture is much better then analog. A DTH subscriber’s installation consists of a dish antenna two to three feet (60 to 90 centimeters) in diameter, a conventional TV set, a signal converter placed next to the TV set, and a length of coaxial cable between the dish and the converter. The dish intercepts microwave signals directly from the satellite. The converter produces output that can be viewed on the TV receiver. There are also widespread complaints of piracy of foreign channels by some of the local cable TV operators as well as individuals. Establishment of DTH service with proper authorization is expected to eliminate such gray market activity to a large extent.
The DTH Operator would receive / downlink the eligible channels (channels which are authorized by PEMRA for distribution in Pakistan) from various satellites including free to-air and encrypted channels at the head-end / DTH station. For the encrypted channels the DTH operator would make payment to the channel operator in accordance with the PEMRA prescribed tariff. Once down linked the channels would be edited, where required, to make them in conformity with the PEMRA code of Conduct. After which the channels would be combined through multiplexer to form a bouquet / channel mix and then uplinked to a designated satellite, with adequate transmitting power, for distribution to the subscribers in the form of a single bouquet. The subscribers would be able to receive the bouquet of television channels through small dish antennas and digital decoders on payment of subscription charges to the DTH operator.
The number of channels will be decided by PEMRA based on the study of local needs, public interest, availability of channels and their conformity with the Code of Conduct.
Licensing Regime for the award of DTH licences including Eligibility Criteria, SOQs, Terms & Conditions, Bidding Procedure etc. is in process and same will be finalized as per policy directives of the Federal Government.