Television

Future lies in direct-to-mobile broadcasting: Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati

The public broadcaster is working on it in collaboration with IIT Kanpur.

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New Delhi: Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati on Wednesday batted for common shared infrastructure for both Television and radio to directly deliver broadcast content to smartphones in future. The public broadcaster's top executive said convergence across content as well as infrastructure is needed to meet the demands of the future.

Speaking the CII’s Big Picture Summit, Vempati said, the public broadcaster is already working on bringing convergence across TV and radio, so that a lot of content exclusively available on Radio can be made visually rich and available for TV audiences. “Prime Minister’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ was the first such radio programme, that was made available for TV audiences. We followed the same format for another show Rangoli and even Vividh Bharti's anniversary celebrations, where we put camera in the studio all-day long,” said Vempati.

The Prasar Bharati CEO also talked about the digital transformation that Doordarshan and All India Radio has undergone in the recent years. Every DD channel and AIR station now has a digital presence spanning multiple platforms, like YouTube or social media or app. “Traditionally, Radio has never been measurable. But, now we have people tuning into AIR from everywhere, and choosing content of their liking. Digital an integral part of our network,” he said.

Vempati said the public broadcaster is driving creativity and innovation on primarily several fronts. The most important being the conversion between TV and Radio. While the two have had a parallel journey of infrastructure and content creation, there was need to bring more convergence.

“We have also collaborated with IIT Kanpur, and if our efforts bear fruits, we should be able to see smartphones directly receiving broadcast signals,” he said. “In the event of a high-viewership event like an IPL, there is no reason why millions of users need to receive that content on a unicast mode through the internet. If this works, all of the content can be delivered directly on broadcast frequencies to people on their smartphones or smart TVs.”

Vempati also called for public private participation in developing critical algorithm, and sectors like AI, which will be needed to ensure content is available for multiple platforms, and made accessible to people across the country.

“We are looking for more collaboration with private sector to identify these technology problems and address them, to create an intellectual capital in India, not only for content, but also for technology to power this content,” he added.

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