DTH Components and technology

The DTH technology involves individual dish placed outside the home that is able to receive signals from the service provider’s satellite and directs the signal onto the television inside the house. There are 5 major components that enable DTH technology to work.

  1. Broadcaster or the source of the TV programs. These are the channels that the service provider pays for obtaining the rights to broadcast them to its subscribers.
  2. Broadcast center that receives signals from different program sources or channels. The center then sends the broadcast signal to the satellite present in its geosynchronous orbit. This is the geostationary equatorial orbit of the satellite. The satellite completes one orbital round of the earth in one day.
  3. The satellite that receives the signal from the broadcast station. It then re-broadcasts or redirects the signal to the Earth.
  4. Individual dish attached to the outside of the subscribers house. This dish catches the signal from a single satellite or multiple satellites and passes it to the receiver that is present inside the viewer’s home.
  5. The receiver receives the signal from the dish and transmits to the television for viewing.

All the six Indian paid DTH service providers provide 24×7 programs that are accessible only on regular DTH recharge. For doing so the viewer needs to visit the online website of the service provider or one of resellers like Phonepe, Mobikwik and Paytm. Alternately one can also download the App of either the service provider or the resellers for timely DTH recharge.

All the Indian operators are required to use satellites commissioned by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Only in case the Indian satellites run out of space, the operators can use leased space from foreign satellites with the condition that these foreign satellites are the ones that ISRO have leased from. Currently following 8 satellites are being used by the Indian DTH operators:

  1. ISRO satellites
  • INSAT – 4A used by Tata Sky. Launched in 2005. Mission life 12 years
  • GSAT – 10 used by Tata Sky. Launched in 2012. Mission life 15 years.
  • GSAT – 15 used by DD Free Dish, Dish TV, Sun Direct. Launched in 2015. Mission life of 12 years.


  1. Foreign satellites
  • ST 2 – owned by Mitsubishi Electric launched in 2011 and used by Videocon d2h. Mission life of 15 years.
  • MEASAT 3 owned by MEASAT Satellite Systems, Malaysia launched in 2006 with a mission life of 15 years. Used by Reliance Digital TV and Sun Direct.
  • NSS6 owned by SES S.A., Netherlands. The satellite manufactured by Lockheed Martin was launched in 2002. Has a mission life of 15 years and is being used by Dish TV.
  • Asiasat 5 owned by Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company, Hong Kong launched in 2009 and with a mission life of 17 years. Currently being used by Dish TV.
  • SES 7 owned by SES S.A., Netherlands launched in 2009 by Boeing. Mission life of 15 years and used by Airtel Digital TV.