Prasar Bharati is a statutory autonomous body established under the Prasar Bharati Act and came into existence on 23.11.1997. It is the Public Service Broadcaster of the country. The objectives of public service broadcasting are achieved in terms of Prasar Bharati Act through All India Radio and Doordarshan, which earlier were working as media units under the Ministry of I&B and since the above said date became constituents of Prasar Bharati.
All India Radio, India’s Public Service Broadcaster, the Radio vertical of Prasar Bharati has been serving to inform, educate and entertain its audiences since its inception, living up to its motto – ‘Bahujan Hitaya : Bahujan Sukhaya’. One of the largest broadcasting organisations in the world in terms of the number of languages of broadcast and the spectrum of socio-economic and cultural diversity it serves, AIR’s home service comprises of 470 Broadcasting centres located across the country, covering nearly 92% of the country’s area and 99.19 % of the total population. Terrestrially, AIR originates programming in 23 languages and 179 dialects.
Doordarshan is India's Public Service Television network, the TV vertical of Prasar Bharati. It is one of the largest broadcasting organisations in the world in terms of the studios and transmitters. Doordarshan has started replacing its analogue transmitters to digital transmitters, which will allow up to 8 channels to be carried from a single transmitter. Doordarshan has a three tier programme services – National, Regional and Local. The National programmes emphasises on events and issues of interest to the entire nation. These programmes includes news, current affairs, magazine programmes and documentaries on science, art, culture, environment, social issues, serials, music, dance, drama and feature films.
DD News, the Television News Channel of Prasar Bharati is the only terrestrial cum satellite News Channel of the country. The News Channel of India's Public Service Broadcaster has been successfully discharging its responsibility to give balanced, fair and accurate news without sensationalizing as well as by carrying different shades of opinion. DD-News channel was launched on 3 November 2003 by converting DD-Metro into a 24-hours news channel. Its satellite footprint is available across the country. DD News terrestrial reach is 49% by population and 25% by area of the country. DD News is currently producing news content in Hindi, English, Urdu and Sanskrit languages. Over 17 hours of LIVE transmission include telecast of more than 30 news bulletins in these languages.
The News Service Division of AIR is the radio News network of Prasar Bharati, has the distinction of being one of the major broadcasting organizations in the world. The News Services Division (NSD) of All India Radio disseminates news and comments to listeners in India and abroad. From 27 news bulletins in 1939-40, AIR today puts more than 510 bulletins daily around 52 hours in 82 languages/dialects in the Home, Regional and External Services.
Free Dish is the Free Direct to Home (DTH) service of Prasar Bharati for receiving TV service directly through satellite with a personal small dish antenna. DTH service does not require a local cable operator for receiving TV service at home. Doordarshan’s DTH service which known as DD Free Dish was launched in December 2004 with the modest capacity of 33 channels.
Prasar Bharati is introducing Digital Terrestrial transmission for the first time in India. The existing Analogue TV Transmitters in India serve about 88% of Indian population. Constrained by limited frequency capacity, the analogue terrestrial television platform needed a new & more efficient transmission system to meet the demands of the future and to allow for the launch of new services. India has adopted DVB Standard for its digitalization of terrestrial network. The 2nd generation DVB T2 Standard, launched in June 2008, has about 50% more capacity than its first generation DVB T. The DVB T2 Transmitter has high data capacity (upto 40 Mbps). Digitalization of Doordarshan’s Terrestrial TV Transmitters has been started in 63 cities under XI and XII Plan. DVB- T2 Transmitters are equipped for Fixed, Portable and Mobile equipments.