Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Business World: NTC sticking with Japan standard

THE NATIONAL Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said yesterday implementing rules and regulations for the switch to digital television from analog will be ready by April.

Gamaliel A. Cordoba, NTC commissioner, told BusinessWorld in a telephone interview the country will still use the Japanese standard Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) despite suggestions to adopt “more superior standards.”

“The technical working group had its first meeting last Friday. We are able to form the committees that will handle the legal, technical and communications groups for the implementation of the digital standard.

We target to issue the implementing rules and regulations by April,” he said. “We will stick to the original plan of adopting the Japanese standard. We don’t see the point of adopting a standard that has yet to be used by some areas and is due for testing. Digital television standards take two to three years to mature,” he added.

Mr. Cordoba said that after the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations for the digital standard, broadcasting firms can start rolling out the digital signals alongside analog signals.

“We will do it gradually. Companies would not stop transmitting analog signals because most of the households’ television sets are not yet capable of receiving digital signals. Those who have television sets that are capable of receiving [digital] signals will have it while those who are still in analog have the option to buy a digital box,” he said.

Mr. Cordoba said the technical working group has yet to discuss whether broadcast firms should pay for the digital boxes.

“We still have to discuss that with them as you know that majority of the television viewers are watching free television. However, most of the cable providers are already giving out digital boxes to their subscribers,” he said.

Early this month, broadcast giant GMA Network, Inc. said the government should reconsider its decision to pick the Japanese standard for the country’s switch to digital television in 2015, saying a new European standard was better.

The DVB2 standard used in Europe has significantly better quality than the Japanese standard, said the TV network. - Aura Marie P. Dagcutan, dated 14 February 2011, 10:23 PM.
Source: Business World

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