Monday, February 1, 2010

Manila Standard Today: Commission deferring digital TV deadline to 2015

The Commission on Information and Communications Technology plans to push back the deadline for the digitalization of television from analog technology to 2015 pending the selection of a platform.
“I think 2015 might be a stretch to achieve. It might have to be moved,” CICT chairman Ray Roxas-Chua told reporters.
He said the government was closely studying two options to be used for the digital TV technology one the Philippines completely shut off all analog televisions.
“It is one of those things that when you select the technology, it can no longer be changed,” Roxas-Chua said.
Japan’s integrated services digital broadcasting technology and Europe’s digital video broadcast technology are vying for the switch.
Roxas-Chua said the government had hoped to make the decision before the elections. “The sooner we get it done, the sooner we can start,” he said.
He said Japan offered new prices for the set top boxes that were comparable with the Europeans.
“It certainly helps that they were able to present low quotes that are comparable with DVB-T,” Roxas-Chua. The set top boxes with lower cost, however, are still not in production.
He said Japan’s ISDB-T was relatively new and not yet largely available in the market, unlike with DVB-T’s.
DVB-T, which was introduced in 1998, is the digital platform used in 121 countries, including France, India and Taiwan. ISDB-T, introduced in 2003 and is being adopted in Japan, Brazil and Peru.
The National Telecommunications Commission, the agency closely working with CICT for the selection of the digital TV platform, said Japan had offered a low cost set top box that is cheaper than the European standard.
NTC Deputy Commissioner Douglas Michael Mallillin said Japan presented set top box with a factory price of $12 from the last year’s offer of around $40 to $50.
The DVB-T proponents, meanwhile,offered set top boxes that cost between $13 and $14.
“It levels the field in the area of price,” Mallillin said, adding that the prices were still subject to a study and other considerations such as the availability and cost of other infrastructure.
Roxas-Chua, meanwhile, said the government did not consider giving subsidies on the set top boxes, like in the United States. - Jeremiah F. de Guzman, dated 1 February 2010.
Source: Manila Standard Today