Thursday, September 22, 2011

ABS-CBN PR: Test broadcasts strengthen public clamor for Digital TV service

To start, we would like to thank first ABS-CBN DTT for the compliments and warm response with our outreach through DTV Pilipinas in making the country's digital television transition on going to success. Actually, it's a pleasure to be invited for the media conference held just this morning in Pampanga to witness the network's test broadcast in digital ISDB-T format.

We regret to attend the said event since all of us admins were busy this week. According to scoops, ABS-CBN had disseminate DTV Digiboxes to selected households in Pampanga to clearly try the freshest and newest technology in television. Read the official press release of ABS-CBN after the jump.
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)’s memorandum circular in 2010 officially naming Japan’s Integrated Services Digital Broadcast-Terrestrial (ISDB) as the Digital television broadcast standard for the Philippines paved the way for some television networks to do trial digital broadcasts.  
These test broadcasts on digital terrestrial TV (DTT), in turn, have further convinced free-tv or non-cable households, which comprise 90 percent of the total Filipino viewing public, especially in the provinces that digital TV migration will give them a clearer and better quality viewing experience.  
Broadcast networks that have done digital test broadcasts include ABS-CBN, Net 25, Gem TV, and government station National Broadcasting Network (NBN).  
Using ISDB-T, major network ABS CBN has chosen households belonging to D-E sector in Mexico, Pampanga and the towns of San Miguel, San Ildefonso and San Rafael in Bulacan as areas where it deployed its test digital broadcast.  
The test broadcast which began in August 1 of this year showed that the sample households’ willingness to go digital tv increased from 44 percent to 56 percent after the two-week testing.
Strongest drivers are the increase in channel options enabled by the digital multi-frequency platform, as well as the dramatic improvement of signal quality or reception, which was cited as the key source of viewers’ satisfaction.  
Having all the benefits of digital tv at a price they can afford is also mentioned as a major consideration. ISDB-T’s more affordable set-top box has an initial retail price of Php2,500. Rival technology, Europe’s Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial (DVB-T) is 60 percent costlier based on FOB price.  
Survey respondents have given feedback such as, “May pambihirang dating ang signal nya. Ang linaw-linaw lahat ng channel (Signal quality is exceptional. All channels are very clear).” Also, “Hindi nawawalan ng signal kahit umuulan, malakas ang hangin o bumabagyo (Signal reception remains strong even if it rains, or when there’s strong winds or typhoon).”  
Test households further attest that the digital TV broadcast made their life better. They used to be able to watch two channels only since their analog antenna can’t get clear-enough signal for the other channels.
They say, “Dati kaunti lang ang mapapanuod at pagdating ng hatinggabi, wala na programa sa tv. Sa digital tv, beinte kuatro oras and mga programa at may mga dagdag na channels pa na katumbas na halos ng cable channels (Whereas before, we can only watch a few channels on tv, and come midnight, there are no more programs available. On digital tv, programs are available 24 hours, including additional new channels that the network has intended for digital broadcast).”  
They also say, “Napakalinaw pa ng picture at ng sound (Image and sound quality is also excellent).” 
NBN also shared the station’s successful test digital broadcasts.  
Said Engr. Antonio M. Leduna, Chief Technology Officer of National Broadcasting Network (NBN) in a previous interview, “Since we began test broadcast on ISDB-T 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-T. Their programs can also be viewed in hand held devices which are DTT-capable. 
Net 25 and GEM TV have also tried broadcasting in ISDB-T since early 2008.  
According to Net 25, the station hasn’t experienced any problems in its digital transmission. In fact, the network said that all their programs are still broadcasted in high definition using ISDB-T.  
This month, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has recommended once more that the Philippines roll out digital tv broadcast on ISDB-T, while the Filipino viewing public share the excitement of industry players toward the anticipated go signal by Malacañang to make digital tv broadcast service an immediate reality.

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