A handy guide to satellite capacity of Indian DTH operators in 2021

An in-depth guide on transponder capacity available to private and state-owned DTH operators in India along with the satellites used by them.

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Highlights

  • Tata Sky leads the single brand satellite capacity with 24 transponders
  • Dish TV leads the multi-brand capacity with 30 transponders (DishTV+d2h)

A Geostationary communication satellite is the beating heart of a DTH system and the transponder capacity is its very lifeforce. Just like the spectrum holding capacity determines the efficiency of a telecom operator, the transponder capacity determines the efficiency of a DTH operator. A typical Ku band transponder in the DVB-S2 system can carry as many as 20 HD or 40 SD channels with MPEG-4 compression standard.

Currently, there is 1 state-owned and 4 private DTH operators (Dish TV operates under 2 brands) providing service in India. The department of space (DOS) permits DTH operators to only use satellites commissioned by Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) or in case there isn’t sufficient capacity on ISRO satellites then they are permitted to use capacity leased by ISRO from foreign satellites. 

Here we will enlist the satellites used and the transponder capacity available to all DTH operators along with their current TV channel count. This is intended to help potential subscribers get a birds-eye view and make an informed choice while picking a DTH service provider. Dish TV and d2h have been listed separately since they operate as individual brands and have separate satellites as well.

Tata Sky:

Tata Sky has a total of 24 Ku band transponders from 2 satellites. 12 transponders from GSAT-10 located at 83° East, owned by ISRO launched in 2012 with a lifespan of 12 years and 12 transponders from GSAT-30 co-located at 83° East, owned by ISRO launched in 2020 with a lifespan of 15 years. Tata Sky currently offers 670 channels of which 529 are SD, 89 are HD, 1 is 4K and 51 are service channels.

Satellite
Name
Transponder
Sr. No.
Frequency
(MHz)
Polarization
(V/H)
Symbol Rate
(Ksps)
GSAT-10110970V32720
211010V32720
311050V32720
411090V32720
511130V32720
611170V32720
711470V32720
811510V32720
911550V32720
1011590V32720
1111630V32720
1211670V32720
GSAT-301310970H32720
1411010H32720
1511050H32720
1611090H32720
1711130H32720
1811170H32720
1911470H32720
2011510H32720
2111550H32720
2211590H32720
2311630H32720
2411670H32720
For Polarization V=Vertical H=Horizontal

Airtel Digital TV:

Airtel Digital TV has a total of 18 Ku band transponders from 2 satellites. 11 transponders from SES-7 located at 108.2° East, owned by SES launched in 2009 with a lifespan of 15 years and 7 transponders from SES-9 co-located at 108.2° East, owned by SES launched in 2016 with a lifespan of 15 years. Airtel Digital TV currently offers 658 channels of which 503 are SD, 85 are HD, 29 are service channels and 37 are Airtel exclusive channels.

Satellite
Name
Transponder
Sr. No.
Frequency
(MHz)
Polarization
(V/H)
Symbol Rate
(Ksps)
SES-7111483H28800
211520V30000
311520H30000
411560V30000
511560H30000
611600V30000
711600H30000
811640V30000
911640H24000
1011680V32700
1111680H32700
SES-91212281V43700
1312341H45000
1412341V43700
1512591V43700
1612651V43700
1712711H45000
1812711V43700
For Polarization V=Vertical H=Horizontal

Dish TV:

Dish TV has a total of 15 Ku band transponders from 2 satellites. 9 transponders from SES-8 located at 95° East, owned by SES launched in 2013 with a lifespan of 15 years and 6 transponders from GSAT-15 located at 93.5° East, owned by ISRO launched in 2015 with a lifespan of 12 years. Dish TV currently offers 387 TV channels of which 310 are SD, 63 are HD and 25 are service channels.

Satellite
Name
Transponder
Sr. No.
Frequency
(MHz)
Polarization
(V/H)
Symbol Rate
(Ksps)
SES-8112464H43000
212535V43200
312595V43200
412595H43200
512647V32700
612647H30000
712688V27500
812688H32000
912729V32700
GSAT-151011050V29500
1111130V29500
1211460H12500
1311480H14500
1411510H29500
1511590H29500
For Polarization V=Vertical H=Horizontal

d2h:

d2h has a total of 12 transponders from ST-2 satellite located at 88° East, owned by SingTel launched in 2011 with a lifespan of 15 years. d2h currently offers 529 TV channels of which 439 are SD, 71 are HD and 25 are service channels.

Satellite
Name
Transponder
Sr. No.
Frequency
(MHz)
Polarization
(V/H)
Symbol Rate
(Ksps)
ST-2111050V30000
211050H30000
311164V44995
411164H44995
511483V44995
611483H44995
711546V44995
811546H44995
911609V43975
1011609H44995
1111672V44995
1211672H44995
For Polarization V=Vertical H=Horizontal

Sun Direct:

Sun Direct has a total of 10 transponders from 2 satellites. 6 transponders from MEASAT-3B located at 91.5° East, owned by MEA Satellite systems launched in 2014 with a lifespan of 15 years and 4 transponders from GSAT-15 located at 93.5° East, owned by ISRO launched in 2015 with a lifespan of 12 years. Sun Direct currently offers 465 TV channels of which 391 are SD, 74 are HD and 4 are service channels.

Satellite
Name
Transponder
Sr. No.
Frequency
(MHz)
Polarization
(V/H)
Symbol Rate
(Ksps)
MEASAT-3B112276H34000
212316H30000
312436H32000
412563V32000
512603V32000
612643V32000
GSAT-15710970V32000
811010V32000
911630H32000
1011670H32000
For Polarization V=Vertical H=Horizontal

DD Free Dish:

DD Free Dish has a total of 9 transponders (Including 1 from Vande Gujarat and 2 from Swayam Prabha) from GSAT-15 satellite located at 93.5° East, owned by ISRO launched in 2015 with a lifespan of 12 years. DD currently offers 228 unencrypted free channels of which 175 are SD and 1 is HD, additionally, there are 50 Radio channels, 2 service channels and 9 FTA channels from Dish TV.

Satellite
Name
Transponder
Sr. No.
Frequency
(MHz)
Polarization
(V/H)
Symbol Rate
(Ksps)
GSAT-15111090V29500
211170V29500
311470V29500
411510V29500
511550H29500
611550V29500
711590V29500
811630V30000
911670V29500
For Polarization V=Vertical H=Horizontal

Note: The DTH satellite transponder details are sourced from LyngSat and are updated from time to time in tandem with the updates on the site. Dish TV and Sun Direct subscribers also get access to unencrypted free channels (from DD free dish, Swayam Prabha and Vande Gujarat) since they both share capacity on GSAT-15.

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Avatar of Esmail Beguwala
Esmail Beguwala

Editor

Esmail is passionate about DTH and Cable TV services. His favourite genre is Infotainment which he binge watches till the wee hours of the night. HD channels paired with surround sound are the perfect way to spend the weekend.

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One correction d2h currently using 11 TP
TP 11050 V was Switched off by them

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One correction d2h currently using 11 TP
TP 11050 V was Switched off by them

Ok I've sourced all transponder details from Lyngsat with yesterday's update. When did D2H switch off the mentioned transponder?

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