Saturday, September 24, 2011

Philippine Star: Palace backs Japanese digital TV standard

Due to Philippines' extreme calamities happening these days, Malacanang's issuance of the official adoption of the Japanese standard was postponed. It was later said that President Aquino is set to issue an E.O. for the ISDB-T before he flies to Japan, but still, Malacanang has of these "second thoughts" due to timing.

What "timing" means? Simply speaking, there are more important options to talk about rather this one. Budget for example. We think it is also not the right time to officially commence the service. Come up before December is better. But still, it says that we could save almost P10 billion of adopting the Japanese standard now, as the ISDB-T decoder boxes are half the price of the European DVB-T2's. One more thing is we could again come up with an updated analog switch-off date. The earlier it means the country could save millions of pesos in transmission, energy and frequency.

But as we always say at DTV Pilipinas, if not now, why tomorrow? Read post after the break.

MANILA, Philippines - While the broadcasting industry has already thrown its support for the adoption of the Japanese digital terrestrial television (DTT) standard that should be adopted by all Philippine broadcasting entities, Malacañang is reportedly still contemplating on when to adopt it. 
Sources told The STAR that Malacañang is supposedly set to issue an executive order for the adoption of the Japanese standard before President Aquino’s state visit to Japan but is now having second thoughts on the timing. 
The Japanese government has been pushing for the adoption of the Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting–Terrestrial (ISDB-T) amidst intense lobby by rival European standard. 
“It will be a Malacañang issuance because they know that the Japanese government wants this,” a source said. 
But because some economic managers have raised concerns as to the timing of the adoption of the DTT standard, sources said it will now be up to President Aquino to make the final decision. 
“The announcement is crucial because it will determine when the analog transmission will completely be switched off. And if the announcement is postponed, it will give the Europeans the time they need to catch up and make their technology cheaper,” a source said. 
It is estimated that if there are 16.4 million TV households nationwide, choosing the Japanese technology now will mean savings of about P10 billion considering that the Japanese set-top box is cheaper by half than the European version. 
The Japanese government has offered not only to provide official development assistance (ODA) but also the establishment of a factory in the Philippines that will make the digital set-top boxes needed for the shift from analog to digital transmission. The Japanese, in the meantime, are offering to sell set-top boxes at prices much lower than what the Europeans are offering. 
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) DTT technical working group III has recommended the adoption of the Japanese version after all broadcasting companies, except GMA Network, threw its support for ISDB-T. 
Under a draft circular, the NTC will mandate that all broadcasting entities switch off their analog transmission by 2015 although there are talks that this may be further extended. 
A number of broadcasting companies such as ABS-CBN are now test-broadcasting via digital transmission. ABS-CBN’s in-home test involves 108 homes in Bulacan and 29 in Pampanga.
The Pampanga test households have reported that the snowy transmission, double images, and faded colors associated with analog is no longer experienced with digital. 
Prior to the deadline, digital and analog transmission will exist side by side with digital transmission made possible using digital set-top boxes. By 2015, television sets should either be digital-ready or use digital set-top boxes since the analog transmission will completely be switched off. - Mary Ann Ll. Reyes, dated 23 September 2011, 12:00 AM.
Source: Philippine Star

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