Monday, May 21, 2012

Business World: Japanese standard endorsed for use in digital TV system

THE SCIENCE and Technology department has endorsed to Malacañang the adoption of the Japanese standard for digital television in a migration plan needed to finalize long-awaited implementing rules.

"If you look at the technical details and consider the country’s [economic] condition, what we need is a Japanese model," Louis Napoleon C. Casambre, executive director of the agency’s Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO), said in a telephone interview last Monday.


The migration plan submitted to the Office of the President "a few weeks ago" took into consideration ease of use as well, Mr. Casambre added.

"The Japanese is a more appropriate model. While the European model has higher modulation, it has more complicated modulation techniques," he said in weighing the differences between the Japanese Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) standard against Europe’s Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) technology.

Malacañang ordered the ICTO last year to draft the migration plan to aid the government in deciding which standard to use in the country’s shift to digital TV, Mr. Casambre said.


The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), which had earlier been tasked to recommend the digital TV standard, last week said it was instead waiting for President Benigno Simeon S. C. Aquino III to approve the ICTO’s migration plan.

NTC Commissioner Gamaliel A. Cordoba told BusinessWorld the economic managers will then take part in the crafting of the implementing rules and regulations since the shift to the digital platform "will have a big economic impact."

"We are just waiting for the [ICTO] and economic managers’ advice as to when will be our next meeting," he added.

Mr. Cordoba went on to echo that the Japanese model would be cheaper to implement.

"The European [model] is good technologically wise," Mr. Cordoba said.
"The Japanese [model has] has less technological advantages but it is cheaper."


According to, Messrs. Casabre and Cordoba, the migration plan includes the pricing of equipment that TV networks need to roll out, channel planning, and how the transition to digital TV will be implemented per area in the country.

Sought for comment, senior executives of the country’s top broadcasters said they were prepared to shift to digital TV.

"Whether it is a Japanese or a European model, we are ready. That is why we have allotted P700 million for the equipment," Rolando P. Valdueza, ABS-CBN Corp.’s chief financial officer, said at the sidelines of the company’s financial briefing last week.

"Our network upgrade has been geared [towards the adoption] of the digital television," Gilberto R. Duavit, Jr., GMA Network, Inc. president and chief operating officer, said separately in a financial briefing last week.

The ICTO endorsement backs the Kapisanan ng mga Brokaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and an NTC technical working group’s recommendation last year to adopt the Japanese model.

KBP had said that the Japanese model is cheaper. It noted DVB-T2 set-top boxes, which are required to enable analog TV sets to receive digital signals, cost 60% more than ISDB-T boxes.

However, the House of Representatives Committee on Information and Communication Technology in March last year asked a review of which standard to adopt, arguing the upgraded European standard (DVB-2) was not assessed in the review conducted in 2010.

Mr. Cordoba said that while the first-half target will not be met for the release of the implementing rules and regulations, the issuance of such rules "will not go beyond this year." - Cliff Harvey C. Venzon, dated 23 May 2012.

Source: Business World

Friday, March 23, 2012

ABS-CBN gives name to DTV Digibox called TV+, gives each studio audience a try


Last March 22, ABS-CBN via its morning show Umagang Kay Ganda launched its digital terrestrial TV set-top box called the TV+. The TV+ is the network’s official market name of their DTV Digibox, which will be commercially available as soon as the government, particularly the NTC, gives its go signal to formally commence the digital terrestrial television in the country.


We regret to have a record out of it, but thanks to our avid follower TheSandies through his Daily Motion, he shared with us among the DTV Pilipinas followers a short clip of Umagang Kay Ganda discussing the TV+.


On the video, TV show host Andrei Felix introduced Miguel Mercado, head of ABS-CBN Digital Terrestrial TV Marketing, to compare the differences between the analog and digital TV signals. Two TV sets were tuned to same feed from Studio 23, one receiving directly from the antenna (a rabbit-ear antenna, which is common indoor antenna mostly on the urban areas) and the other is receiving from the TV+ box connected to the TV. As for analog, some interferences were visibly seen, like the snowy images and moving lines, due to high interferences of TV signals degraded by billboards and tall buildings. But for digital TV, the feed from Studio 23 looks like a feed from a DVD video, without the snowy images and lines.

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What defines the TV+ box is it has additional premium channels coming from the ABS-CBN digital TV channel, which was officially shown last year with our article (Read it here). The TV+ is bought for a one-time fee of approximately P 2,500. As of now, ABS-CBN is under test transmission of their DTV service.

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The TV+ package includes the TV+ box itself, an RCA audio-video connector that will be connected to the TV set, a small indoor antenna that can be magnet-ed on top of the box, and a remote control. Definitely, this TV+ will be available in the retail stores soon, once ABS-CBN has given the signal by the governing body to sell those boxes to households. Currently, the TV+ can receive available digital TV channels free-to-air like ABS-CBN, Studio 23, GEM HD and PTV. Once other TV networks go digital, they can also be received through the TV+.


After the discussion, Felix surprised their studio audience from Brgy. Socorro who each gladly receive a TV+ box to try their own of having a clear and crisp TV signal available in the future.

(To understand more about ABS-CBN’s digital terrestrial TV service, read our previous article here)

Watch the video here:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Free DTV Digibox Giveaway by DZMM made this morning

ABS-CBN Digital TV Team via DZMM gave away a free DTV Digibox on the segment of "Failon Ngayon sa DZMM", more to come this week. It is part of the network's test broadcast for digital terrestrial television.

It was part of the program’s Mahiwagang Backpack. One was asked about the impeachment trial and then he got his own DTV Digibox from DZMM. The box was given will be the actual commercial product of ABS-CBN’s 5 years of extensive research for digital TV. It will be released once the NTC gives the go signal for them to market the Digibox commercially.

ABS-CBN Digital TV is broadcasting live on UHF TV-43 in Mega Manila, in simulcast with the ABS-CBN Channel 2, Studio 23, and 5 other free TV channels packed in the spectrum.

More info to come by the end of the week.