Saturday, April 10, 2010

Manila Standard Today: Networks lean toward Japan’s TV technology

The country’s leading broadcasting companies now prefer the Japanese standard for digital television over European technology.
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp., GMA Network Inc. and MediaQuest Holdings Inc.’s TV5 are leaning toward Japan’s integrated services digital broadcasting technology over the more widely used digital video broadcast system of the Europeans.
Rolando Valdueza, ABS-CBN chief financial officer, told reporters that the Lopez-led TV network might now go with the Japanese standard.
“The only concern now is the cost of the set top boxes. We’re currently talking with the Japanese supplier of set top boxes,” Valdueza said.
The ABS-CBN official, however, said the government would still have the last say on which standard to adopt.
GMA Network president and chief executive Felipe Gozon said late Thursday that the company was now “leaning toward the Japanese [standard].”
He said most of the television companies and even the government seemed to favor Japan’s ISDB-T after Japanese makers cut the price of set top boxes at the level of the European platform.
“They are able to reduce the price of the box because it is needed [for faster transition],” Gozon said.
He said “[GMA Network] is ready for that anytime,” adding that the TV network had been purchasing digital-ready equipment since 2005.
“It will not cost us more than P300 million for additional equipment once the country started its transition to digital TV,” Gozon said.
TV5 president and chief executive Ray Espinosa earlier said “the Japanese [platform] is a very good standard.”
Smart Communications Inc.’s MyTV is using European’s DVB-T but Espinosa said MediaQuest believed that Japan’s ISDB-T also worked well with television service in mobile hand-held devices.
National Telecommunications Commission Deputy Commissioner Douglas Michael Mallillin earlier said the Japanese government had offered to manufacture set top boxes for the country’s transition to digital TV amid intense lobbying by its proponents.
“The Japanese have made a commitment that if the Japanese standard is to be awarded, they will set up a factory here in the Philippines,” he said.
He said set top boxes to be produced in the Philippines at a cost of around P500 for over 14 million households nationwide would result in more jobs to Filipinos. - Jeremiah F. de Guzman, dated 10 April 2010.
Source: Manila Standard Today