Public TV Channel
There is one free national channel called Doordarshan (DD), which is the government network. In order to get it, you need to attach an antenna to your television. There are no licensing fees.
The programs are in Hindi. News is shown a few times a day and most of the time the programs are soap operas. During the weekends, there are Indian movies in Hindi. DD is most known and watched for its news broadcasts. There are no English programs.
For program schedules visit Doorarshan’s website.
Cable Television Network
You can expect to pay anywhere from Rs. 100 to Rs. 500 per month for privately operated television channels, with prices contingent on the number of channels and services ordered.
Well over 100 channels are available, but be aware that most channels are not in English. Airtel, for example, provides 100 basic channels of news, entertainment, and sports mostly in Hindi for Rs. 127 per month. You then have the option to add on “Top Up” English channels à la carte for negligible extra costs.
“Top Up” Channels with English programs include:
- Animal Planet
- Baby TV
- BBC World News
- BBC Lifestyle
- Cartoon Network
- Discovery Travel and Living
- Discovery Science
- Discovery Channel
- MGM Movies
- National Geographic
- Sony Pix
- Star Movies
Ordering Cable TV
There are no documents required to set up cable TV. Simply call the cable TV service company you’d like, state the plan and channels you’d like, make an appointment, and a technician will come and install cable TV in your home, normally within a few days.
NB: Sometimes channels are removed without prior notice, and frequencies often change randomly.
Tata Sky offers quality service and allows you to choose which channels you would like to watch through Direct-to-Home TV services (DTH TV).
Tata’s Annual Mega Pack costs Rs. 6,000 per year and includes 190 channels and 12 showcase movies. Like cable, DTH channels are mostly in Hindi, but the same English channels mentioned above are available. For an extended list of channels and packages and to order the services online see: http://www.tatasky.com/channel-packages.html.
Note that many buildings do not allow installation of satellite dishes, so check with your building society or landlord first.
To subscribe, call Tata at 022 6000 6633. No documents are required. A technician will come to install usually within three to five working days after receiving your order. Installation charges are Rs 130.
TV Service Providers
Your landlord or building society committee can tell you which local cable operators provide services in your area. Airtel and Tata Sky are two of the biggest providers.
Airtel Digital TV
Phone: 6001 3474
Phone: 6662 3333
Reliance Big TV