Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Manila Standard Today: Japan offers local stations subsidy for digital switch

JAPAN has offered to subsidize the transition to digital from analog of the Philippine government’s television channels to lessen its financial burden, an official said Monday.
“[The Japanese] will help government channels. They will provide the equipment to them,” National Telecommunications Commission chief Gamaliel Cordoba said.
But he said the private channels would not be included in the equipment subsidies to be provided to government-owned and -operated TV channels.
“We might be asking for financial assistance to our local TV stations,” Cordoba said.
“The Japanese proponents are also studying the possibility of manufacturing the set top boxes here in the Philippines.”
Set top boxes of integrated services digital broadcasting technology, or ISDB-T, are needed to use analog televisions in a digital TV setup, and those now cost $10 each.
Cordoba said no formal agreement had yet been signed between the Philippine and Japanese governments on the use of integrated services digital broad casting technology as the country’s official platform for its transition to digital TV.
“It is still being reviewed by the Department of Foreign Affairs, National Economic Development Authority, the NTC and the Commission on Information and Communications Technology,” Cordoba said.
“But so far, unless there is a compelling significant reason to change the system, we will stick with the Japanese system.”apan was ready to provide the Philippines with technical assistance and the equipment to shift to digital TV.
“Once we sign an agreement, we are ready to provide assistance. We are confident that the NTC will stick to its original decision to use the Japanese standard.”
Proponents of the digital video broadcasting technology are asking the government to consider the improved version of the European digital TV platform.
But Cordoba said the Philippines couldn’t wait for the DVB-T2, which could take three to five years to develop.
“That it is still an emerging technology. We cannot wait for three to five years,” he said. - Jeremiah F. de Guzman, dated 22 February 2011.
 Source: Manila Standard Today

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