Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Manila Times: ABS-CBN to roll out digital TV in June

Despite the urgent catious remarks from GMA Network to the National Telecommunications Commission, ABS-CBN will still stand up to use the unanimously-favored Japanese ISDB-T.

With this, they will now start to deploy DTV Digiboxes, the set top box branding of the network, on June, after the NTC finalizes the regulations on DTT broadcast.

Meanwhile, TV5, under the ABC Development Corp and MediaQuest, is very ready for the network's deployment of the ISDB-T digital TV system.

NBN, the government's flagship TV network, is now transmitting digital TV broadcast under the UHF channel 48 and being granted millions of dollars for the most sophisticated digital TV facility.

Read the article after the break.

ABS-CBN Corp. on Monday said it is “ready” to roll out digital TV in June using the Japanese platform, warning regulators that changing the standard may cause delays. 
“We are ready to deploy regardless of the standard, but it would have caused delays if the NTC [National Telecommunications Commission] changes the standard,” Miguel Mercado, vice president of ABS-CBN Marketing said.
“We will launch the service to viewers once the NTC releases the implementing rules and regulations in June,” Mercado said. 
“Initially, we will rollout the digital boxes in Luzon and Visayas and Mindanao in the next few years,” he said. 
This Digibox will serve as the viewer’s gateway to enjoying new channels that ABS-CBN has developed to cater to preferences of different market segments. Mercado said the cost of the digital boxes is between P1,000 and P3,000. 
“But, we are working with several manufacturers to develop a cheap digibox,” he said. 
The executive said the company’s target market are people who do not have cable TV or the [Class] D income households, which comprises 90 percent of the population. 
“The new channels to be made available include two channels for kids, a channel for the youth, a channel for dads and a channel for moms,” Mercado said. 
“Viewers will also get to enjoy five new channels for free. These are in addition to getting all existing channels that will be broadcasting in digital, which upon our launch will include Channel 2, Studio 23, GEM TV and NBN. Once the NTC gives a go signal we are sure that the other stations will be ready to broadcast their current channels on DTV as well,” he added.
The country originally planned to migrate from analog to digital TV in 2015. 
In June last year, the NTC issued a memorandum circular mandating the use of Japan’s standard, or the Integrated Services Digital Broadcast-Terrestrial (ISDB-T). 
But recently the regulator said its technical working group (TWG) is reviewing the European Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld (DVB-T) standard because of the new technology from Europe called DVB2. 
GMA Network Inc. is the most vocal in urging the NTC to review the standard because of the new technology from Europe, which is more advanced than the Japanese platform.
The National Broadcasting Network (NBN) also is converting its facilities to digital TV using the Japanese platform. The state-owned network has received a $4-million grant from the Japanese government to shift to digital TV. 
ABC Development Corp., the operator of TV5 earlier said the company is ready to roll out digital TV using the Japanese platform. 
Since 2007, ABS-CBN has been laying the groundwork for this new technology. Recently, the company conducted trials in more than 1,000 households all over the Philippines. 
ABS-CBN shares shed 40 centavos to close at P42 apiece on Monday. - Darwin G. Amolejar, dated 19 May 2011.
Source: Manila Times 

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