History of Doordarshan
Doordarshan started with a tentative telecast on September 1959 from Delhi. The infrastructure at that time was small supported by a temporary studio. Regular transmission commenced on 1965, and formed a part of All India Radio. By 1972, the telecast was expanded to Amritsar and Mumbai. Doordarshan was the only channel available at time and by 1975, it was available in seven cities around the nation. In 1976, it was detached from All India Radio and was fully managed from New Delhi, by two different Director Generals. In 1982, colour television sets became available in country and the speech given by the Prime Minister of that time, Indira Gandhi, was telecast live through out the nation. After this, the 1982 Asian games, Delhi, was also broadcasted by the channel.
Early Programmes of Doordarshan
Doordarshan gained exceeding popularity during the 1980s with its new and groundbreaking shows that could easily connect with the urban and rural audiences alike. Shows like Hum Log, Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, Buniyaad, Nukkad, along with the epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata were watched by viewers throughout the country. Later programmes like Bharat Ek Khoj, Chitrahaar, Sword of Tipu Sultan, Rangoli, The Great Maratha, Ek Se Badkar Ek, Shaktimaan and Superhit Muqabla also were watched widely.
Other popular programmes included thrillers like Byomkesh Bakshi, Karamchand, Barrister Roy, Tehkikaat, Reporter and Suraag. Family oriented shows like Wagle ki Duniya, Fauji, Mr. Yogi, Talaash, Kashish, Srimaan Srimati, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Zabaan Sambhal Ke, Swabhimaan, Shanti, Saagar, Lifeline, Udaan, Circus, Sansaar, Jaspal Bhatti's Flop Show, Meri Awaaz Suno, Sangharsh, Gul Gulshan Gulfam, Sea Hawks, Tu tu mein mein and Junoon were also widely accepted. Mythological programmes like Dastan-E-Hatim Tai, Chandrakanta, Alif Laila were also very popular among the viewers.
Shows targeted at kids were also much appreciated. Programmes like Captain Vyom, a Desi version of Star Wars, Potli Baba Ki, Malgudi Days, Stone Boy, Tenali Raman, Sigma, Vikram Betaal, Kile ka Rahasya and Dada Dadi ki Kahaniyan are worth mentioning. Many popular international programmes were also aired, after being dubbed in Hindi, such as Johnny Soko and his flying robot, Street Hawk, Knight Rider, Superhuman Samurai Cyber Squad, and animated shows like the jungle book, He-Man and the masters of universe, Spiderman, Disney adventures were also admired by the young audience.
Channels of Doordarshan
Doordarshan currently has 21 channels, 11 regional channels and 2 national channels (DD National and DD News), 1 sports channel (DD Sports), 1 international channel and a few more. DD National broadcasts both regional and national programmes. DD-Sports exclusively telecast various sporting tournaments and events, which are of national and international significance. It also broadcasts local sports like Kabaddi, Kho-Kho etc. DD News, which was launched by replacing DD Metro, is a 24 hour new channel.
The array of channels offered by Doordarshan include- DD National, DD Sports, DD News, Rajya Sabha TV, DD-Lok Sabha, DD Bharti and many regional channels such as, DD Gujarati, DD Bangla, DD Punjabi, DD Kashir, DD Malayalam, DD Odia, DD Podhigai, DD Saptagiri, DD Sahyadri, DD Urdu and DD NorthEast.
National Programmes on Doordarshan
The objective of a common programme broadcast, which will cater to people in different states, was achieved by Mr. Sathe, Minister for Information and Broadcast, in the 90 minute National programme, on August 15, 1982. This was to consist of news in Hindi and English, and programmes reflecting music, dance and other aspects of life, literature and culture of all regions. Although few programmes have been appreciated by the viewers, but in general it is believed that the output has lacked quality and standard.
There are seven full fledged centres at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Jalandar, Srinagar, and Lucknow; eight transmitting centres at Raipur, Jaipur, Muzaffarpur, Gulbarga, Sambalpur, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Nagpur, and relay centres at Gwalior, Kanpur, Pune, Allahabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Mussoorie, Panaji and Asansol. There are also three Upgraha Doordarshan Kendras (Satellite programme production centres) at Cuttack, Delhi and Hyderabad and also 20 low-power transmitters in many states to provide coverage to national and other programmes through relays. Doordarshan has 45 transmitters at work, and the programmes reach about 28% of the population.
Recently, along with Tata Sky, Doordarshan has launched an Interactive Service, which is offered as a special channel on Tata sky. It is an Interactive Service of Tata Sky to show 4 TV Channels of Doordarshan which are not available on Tata sky as normal channels. DD Podhigai, DD Gujarati and DD Punjabi are offered in this service. Doordarshan also has launched its own Direct-To-Home service, named DD Direct Plus.
International Broadcasting of Doordarshan
Doordarshan had also started broadcasting internationally via Satellite and has a presence in almost 146 countries, globally. But there were some technical problems on the availability of the channel in some countries. The programmes and timie slot are not as similar as the broadcast in India. In July 2008, transmissions in U.K. and U.S. were stopped.
Now more than 90 percent of population of the country can receive Doordarshan programmes through a network of nearly 1400 terrestrial transmitters. Around 46 Doordarshan Studios are producing TV software. The Doordarshan televises through the Official and Associate Official languages, and its regional channels televise through the state dominant languages and dominant minority languages.