Friday, September 23, 2011

Exclusive: The ABS-CBN Digital TV Channels Revealed

The 5 new ABS-CBN DTV channels. Photo courtesy of TheSandies Jet.
Today's news spread like a wildfire, as ABS-CBN spills out another relaunch of the digital terrestrial TV service of the network. As much as we wanted to, but all of us at DTV Pilipinas do have such commitments made today that's why we regret to join today's media press conference for the said service.

Months ago, ABS-CBN made its official launch, after almost years ago when the network is getting ready for its first DTV testing among other broadcasters. With the relaunch last 4th of April, ABS-CBN teased their DTT service by having 5 new premium channels set to conquer the digital TV mainstream. Among the main ABS-CBN and its UHF channel Studio 23, the media conglomerate bids to offer five more channels on digital free TV once it is finally officiated.

In short summary, digital terrestrial television, or digital ffree TV, is a technology wherein digital signals are being transmitted instead of analog signals that introduces noise and unclear picture and audio quality. With digital signals being transmitted over the air, a TV subscriber should have a receiver, known as the set-top box or STB, to decode those digital TV signals. Through DTV, a TV network can have a DVD-like quality or even have a high definition (HD) Blu-ray-like quality signals without subscribing to local cable and satellite operators. It may have, for a single channel, a maximum 8 sub-channels in standard definition (SD) format, or 2 sub-channels in high definition or HD format, unlike in analog which has 1:1 channel-to-program ratio.

Tracing the history, we exclusively made an article about ABS-CBN's line-up on digital free TV channels. But due to the responsible use of social media, we've just teased our followers on what to expect on the network's run to digital broadcast.

Exclusively speaking, ABS-CBN will be having a news channel for dads, a movie channel for moms, a music channel for the youth, and a cartoon/anime channel, as well as educational channel (Knowledge Channel) for the kids. We’ll spill it out for you guys, but still we shouldn’t market it all, for ABS to tell it officially what those are in the next months. Let your minds guess, but two of them are new and three will go free-to-air.
And now, the history unveiled, as the ABS-CBN primetime newscast TV Patrol reported today's media conference about the network's test broadcast in Pampanga, ABS-CBN Digital TV channels we're also seen, as shown in the picture above.

It may not be unclear, but the ABS-CBN DTV Digibox showed its contents with the ABS-CBN's digital channel. Along with the ABS-CBN and Studio 23, those five premium channels are set to be received using the network's DTV Digibox only. This may also be unclear to all of us, since it is nice to say that ABS-CBN will be offering new channels in free-encrypted format. As long as we've conversed with the people behind the network's DTT service, we'll inform all of you guys about this matter.

For now, let's talk about the premium channels. Why premium? Because those channels are only received by those ABS-CBN DTV Digiboxes. Others may say this is just a business issue, but there are some factors to discuss here. Contents of the said channels are being paid. Just like in cable television service, you pay for what you want to watch. According to a news source weeks ago, ABS-CBN spent almost billions of pesos acquiring for a movie library set to broadcast in digital TV. And that's for the movie channel only.

Maintenance is also a key factor to this issue. In analog, it is a harassment to broadcast 24/7 since a transmitter needs to rest for hours. For TV5's AksyonTV Channel 41, it is hard to maintain such television station with a whole-day transmission without getting off-air. What more for five channels? Digital TV may introduce low power transmission, but the maintenance is still in the hands of the technicals. Those premium channels of ABS-CBN will be 24/7.

So much for those factors, we'll now reveal for those channels in line with the ABS-CBN digital TV setup.

Movie Channel
Cine Mo!
Dubbed as SineBox years ago, ABS-CBN made this new channel exclusively for digital free TV. This will show local and some foreign films included in the ABS-CBN DTV movie library. Its name may incorporate Cinema One, this is not under the ABS-CBN Creative Programs Inc. (CPI).
Cartoon/Anime Channel
First known as Yey! TV, this is also a newest channel of ABS-CBN exclusively made for digital free TV. Cartoon and anime fans may celebrate with the birth of this one since it may show some anime and cartoon shows previously broadcasted on ABS-CBN, its cable channel HeroTV, or even a new title.
Educational Channel
Knowledge Channel
Back in 2009, we’ve posted an article about the Knowledge Channel Foundation Inc. (KCFI) to have a new learning system using Knowledge Channel in digital free-TV format. Since the new millennium, KCh has been in part of the ABS-CBN cable channels group and some of the schools do have their own cable TV systems just to offer Knowledge Channel in their respective learning subjects. With this, schools may no longer be connected to cable just to watch Knowledge Channel’s educational programs.
News Channel
DZMM Teleradyo
In line with the 25th anniversary of DZMM, they may now be switched on to free-TV. Since then, Teleradyo had undergone several changes, from including ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs programs, to strengthening its radio-TV landscape in offering the latest and breaking news straight to your television sets.
Music Channel
Myx 2
The second generation Myx, Myx 2 is made to divert those programming into its successor cable channel.  As of now, it is unclear if Myx 2 may have different program line-up with Myx, but for sure, the teens will enjoy having Myx 2 a 24/7 music channel on free TV.

With the ABS-CBN's offering to digital TV service, it is sure that the transition to digital terrestrial TV may become successful, as other networks are also set to have also multi-content programming. We're sure to say that 2011 is the beginning of the future of Philippine TV.

Note: The views and opinions of DTV Pilipinas do not reflect any of those corporate affiliations stated in this article. This is still subjected to change without prior notice.


  1. whats the format of digital video broadcast of abs cbn? japanese ISDB-T or Europian DVB-T?

  2. why is it ours only 13 channels? no PTV4 IBC13 RPN9 Solar Net25 etc.

  3. Mine also shows 13 channels only but after scanning it detects 27 tv channels!!?? Am I missing something???

  4. I think it is just normal to get 13 TV channels because Digital TV stations are lacking in the Philippines. By the way, I'm experiencing great TV reception using SHARP Philippines smart TV.