Thursday, September 1, 2011

Business World: More tests on digital TV rules urged

We heard again some breaking news, that even broke our hearts with the continuing support of others for the European Digital Video Broadcast - Terrestrial 2 (DVB-T2), pertaining to GMA Network, in lieu with the majority support and final (and official) proclamation of the Japanese ISDB-T as the Philippines' sole digital terrestrial television standard. Read more after the break.
BROADCASTER GMA Network, Inc. has urged the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to test the two types of digital television standards for itself before choosing between the Japanese and European variants. 
This comes as an NTC technical working group has recommended the country adopt the Japanese Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) standard, contrary to GMA Network’s preference of using the European standard. 
“GMA Network recommends DVB-T2 (Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial 2 or the upgraded European standard) as the DTT (digital terrestrial television) standard to be adopted in the Philippines,” the firm said in a position paper, copies of which were e-mailed to the press yesterday. 
“However, it behooves us in the exercise of prudence, to conduct a comprehensive trial to determine to a certain degree, the validity of the published specifications and comparative performance of both standards side-by-side under identical conditions,” the firm added. 
GMA Network warned that the lack of a “visible, measurable and concrete” data as bases may allow for “subjective or theoretical” assessment of the two standards. 
“We therefore strongly recommend the conduct of an actual trial,” GMA Network said. 
Sought for comment, NTC Commissioner Gamaliel A. Cordoba said that GMA Network’s position paper, along with the other stakeholders’ are all being noted during the ongoing review. 
“We’ll take everything into consideration,” Mr. Cordoba said in a text message yesterday, noting however that the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas has recommended the Japanese standard. 
Despite the technical working group’s recommendation, NTC has yet to decide which standard to go by, Mr. Cordoba said. 
He added that the publication of implementing rules and regulations for the digital TV technology will soon follow after a decision on the standard is made. 
Asked when the NTC is expected to come up with a decision on the standard, Mr. Cordoba reiterated that it will be before the year ends. 
In an e-mail on Monday night, Peter Siebert, executive director of the DVB Project Office, said that his office wrote NTC last month asking for the reconsideration of the European standard. 
The DVB Project Office handles the marketing, logistics and communications of the industry-led consortium DVB Project. 
“[W]e have as recently as the 11 August wrote to NTC… seeking their consideration of the standard. As yet we have not received any feedback or requests from NTC arising from our communications,” Mr. Siebert said. 
Mr. Siebert reiterated that the upgraded European standard is superior to the Japanese standard due to technical points and even on socioeconomic considerations. 
In June last year, NTC, had chosen Japan’s standard. But a House committee in March this year called for a fresh review. The NTC, since then, has been weighing pros and cons between the Japanese standard and the upgraded European standard. - Kathleen A. Martin, dated 01 September 2011, 10:15 PM.

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