Sunday, March 27, 2011

Inquirer: NTC orders review of digital TV standard

MANILA, Philippines—The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has ordered a review of the standards to be used for the country’s shift to digital television broadcasting technology.
NTC Deputy Commissioner Carlo Jose Martinez said the regulator was considering the adoption of a new technology, the second-generation Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB2) from Europe, to replace the Japanese Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting (ISDB) standard.
DVB2 has been touted by industry experts as superior to the ISDB platform from Japan, which was chosen over the first generation DVB standard.
“In the advent of the new technology, we want to have a review to see if the DVB2 is superior to the ISDB,” he said in an earlier interview.
All TV networks earlier expressed support for the ISDB standard. But GMA Network Inc., one of the country’s leading television stations, recently said a review might be warranted given the development of the more advanced DVB2.
Associated Broadcasting Corp. (ABC), operator of TV5, has also said the government should take a second look at other technologies other than the ISDB.
The ISDB standard was chosen over the DVB platform last year, mainly due to the lower prices of set-top boxes offered by Japanese companies. These devices are needed to convert digital signals into viewable images.
The benefits of digital TV include the more efficient use of broadcast frequencies to allow more data to be transmitted. Once digital TV is adopted in the Philippines, high-definition programming will be broadcast on free-to-air networks instead of through cables for a fee.
The committee formed by the NTC is expected to complete its review and come up with its findings in two months. The review will run simultaneously with the work of the technical working group (TWG), which is formulating the specific rules for the rollout of digital TV.
The TWG is made up of representatives from the private sector and the NTC.
Association of Broadcast Electronics Practitioners vice president Armand Ursal said reports from overseas showed that Europe’s DVB2 standard could send more data using much less power than required when using the Japanese standard.
“What we hear is that it’s superior and more beneficial to the public,” Ursal said, but admitted that more would have to be conducted. - Paolo Montecillo, dated 27 March 2011, 10:03 PM.
Source: Inquirer

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