Sunday, June 19, 2011

Manila Times: Fresh delay expected for rules on digital TV migration

We've posted earlier on our page that something that will change the course of the history of Philippine broadcasting this coming June 30. But it is likely to not meet the target date for the Technical Working Group to finish the rules and regulations for DTV transition as the review of the two standards still hangs in the clothesline until being submitted to President Aquino the technical and commercial specifications suited for the country.

Read the post after the break.
RULES for the country’s migration to digital terrestrial TV could be delayed as the regulator’s technical working group has yet to decide on the review criteria for the adoption of the standard. 
During a meeting held on Wednesday, Carlo Jose Martinez, National Telecommunications Commission deputy commissioner, said the agency wants the review of Japan’s Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial and Europe’s Digital Video Broadcasting-Second Generation Terrestrial “over immediately” as a report should be submitted to President Aquino by June 23. 
Martinez said the original deadline of the “paper review” for the two digital TV platforms was on May 31 but was extended because of the differences on how the review process should be done. 
“The time given by the President for us to review is that we can only conduct a paper review, because the actual field testing would take two to six months. But if the President wants to conduct a complete review then we will need additional time. We have to report to Malacañang the TWG recommendation on June 23. After that, let the President decide,” Martinez said. 
Last year, the regulator issued an order adopting Japan’s ISDB-T as the standard. But some broadcasting companies requested another look at Europe’s DVB-T2. 
A representative of ABS-CBN Corp. wants technical and commercial aspects as criteria in choosing the standard for the country’s migration to digital TV. 
Martinez said the TWG will meet again next week to set the criteria and to complete the review.
In a document obtained by this reporter, the NTC said that Europe’s DVB-T2 is “technically better, [but] commercially it’s a different story.” 
The NTC said the current price of DVB-T2 set top boxes is 58 percent higher than the $45 price tag on the unit required by Japan’s ISDB-T. 
The regulator said the adoption of the European standard would mean another long delay. 
Martinez said the June 30 target date for the issuance of Implementing Rules and Regulations is unlikely to be met because of the delays in review. 
The country had planned to migrate from analog to digital TV come 2015. 
Free-TV or non-cable households comprise 90 percent of the total 17 million in the country. - Darwin G. Amolejar, dated 19 June 2011.
Source: Manila Times 

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