Friday, June 10, 2011

Manila Bulletin: Digital Terrestial TV groundrules sought

MANILA, Philippines — By now, telecom regulators should come up with the long-delayed ground rules for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), broadcasters urged. 
Filipino viewers would benefit the most once networks operate under digital transmission, according to the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP). However, to date, networks cannot roll out DTT because the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has not finished its implementing rules and regulations (IRR). 
After a four-year review on existing standards being used by other countries, NTC released its memorandum circular No. 02-06-2010 adopting a standard to be used in the country a year ago. 
Immediately after the release of the memorandum, some industry players have already prepared to be DTT-ready. But before NTC can finalize the IRR, another review must be done, on the orders of the House of Representatives. 
“NTC must come out with the IRR now because the Philippines has to meet the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) deadline,” urged Atom Henares, KBP Television Committee Chairman. “If we keep on delaying the IRR’s release, we’ll be left out. Technology evolves non-stop. We need to address the needs of the Filipinos now.” 
ITU is the global body which mandates countries to adopt a new digital TV standard. Still, even the United States and Japan took almost ten years to fully roll out digital broadcasting. 
The IRR is expected to be finalized this month, if the latest review will not affect the NTC circular containing its choice of DTT standard. 
Digital technology not only provides Filipinos with better image quality and clearer sound, but also allows for more variety and viewer options via more content and more channels. 
“Majority of local households don’t have cable subscriptions. They are confined to only 22 channels compared to up to 176 channels in DTT. Being stuck in the analog age limits Filipinos, viewing experience of Filipinos,” he explained. - Emmie V. Abadilla, dated 10 June 2011, 01:38 AM
Source: Manila Bulletin 

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