Thursday, June 30, 2011

NBN: KBP says ISDB is the Pro-Filipino digital TV standard

With the Philippines’ looming migration from analog to digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcast, limited channel options, signal interruptions and poor-quality image and audio will soon be things of the past. 
Digital TV viewing will introduce an all-new improved experience with multiple channels per frequency, high-quality image and sound, and other exciting functionalities. 
And, among the existing DTT standards available today, Japan’s Integrated Service Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) is what the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), the country’s foremost broadcast media organization, believes to be the one that will best serve the interest of Filipinos. 
According to Atom Henares, chairman of the KBP Television Committee, “ISDB is a pro-Filipino standard because it has features that can address better the needs of the Filipino viewers, not to mention that it costs less than DVB2, its European counterpart.” 
DVB2 or Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial2 is the second generation of Europe’s digital TV standard, DVB. 
Although, ISDB can carry less channels compared to DVB2, Henares believes ISDB’s capacity is enough to transmit channels that will be produced by broadcast networks. 
What’s more, Henares stressed, Filipinos don’t have to pay more just to have the extra number of channels that might just end up unused by the networks. The set-top box required for analog TV sets to receive digital signal for DVB-T2 is 60 percent more expensive than that of ISDB. 
With ISDB, a frequency can carry up to eight channels, which, when already rolled out, can provide Filipino viewers with up to 176 free-to-air tv channels that will allow broadcast networks to produce more channels that can cater to different market segments and specific interests. 
Another feature of ISDB is its mobility. All handheld devices like mobile phones and small TV sets that can receive digital signals will be able to receive digital broadcast. This is in contrast to DVB2 where mobility is just an option and not all devices can receive its signal unless customized to do so. 
“Filipinos are always on the go and with ISDB, you can watch your favorite TV programs even when on the road,” said Henares. 
ISDB also features a data transmission feature that allows broadcast networks to flash data at the TV screen of the viewers. 
This feature can be utilized in weather forecasting and government announcements. It can also be very helpful during emergency situations given that the Philippines is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, making the country prone to earthquake and volcanic eruptions, as well as in the Intertropical Convergence Zone, which brings storms and typhoons all year round. 
“It is also ISDB that already has seen test broadcasts by some TV networks,” said Henares. 
Engr. Antonio M. Leduna, Chief Technology Officer of National Broadcasting Network (NBN) said, “Since we began test broadcast on ISDB in 2009, signal was robust and there was no degradation in the quality of the images and sound. 
NBN has tried broadcasting in both high and standard definitions and has also utilized the emergency warning and data casting features of ISDB. Their programs can also be viewed in hand held devices. 
Net 25 and GEM TV have also tried broadcasting in ISDB since early 2008. 
According to Engr. Cesar Villadiego, Head of Engineering of Net 25, “We haven’t experienced any problems in our digital transmission. In fact, all our programs are still broadcast in high definition using ISDB.” 
More than the features of ISDB, the Philippines will also benefit from migrating to the DTT standard as Japan promised funding and technical support for the country’s digital tv migration. 
“The Japanese government has earlier said it will support the country’s transition into the DTT era by, among other things, setting up a factory here in the country for the manufacturing of set-top boxes. 
This will create jobs for Filipinos and make the equipment more accessible,” said Henares. - PNA, dated 30 June 2011, 01:34 P.M.
Source: National Broadcasting Network

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