Monday, March 5, 2012

Business World: ASEAN affirms 2015 switch to digital broadcasts

A 2015 SWITCH to digital from analog broadcasting has been affirmed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in line with the bloc’s economic integration schedule.

Ministers who met last week in Kuala Lumpur "endorsed the ‘Guidelines for ASEAN Digital Switch-Over’ which will serve as a shared blueprint to aid all Member States in their transition towards digital broadcasting," the organization said in a statement.

The Philippines, which has yet to decide on which digital standard to adopt, will host a technical working group meeting in the next three months, a Malacañang official said.

The meeting, said Sec. Hermino B. Coloma, Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, will "flesh out a more comprehensive communication plan for the ASEAN Economic Community."

The communication plan, which will touch digital television broadcasting and social media, aims to establish a strategy for increasing public awareness on efforts to unify the culturally diverse region.

Locally, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is said to be planning a second quarter release of implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on the digital shift.

A final choice has not been made between Japan’s integrated services digital broadcast-terrestrial (ISDB-T) and Europe’s digital video broadcasting-terrestrial 2 (DVB-T2) standards. The NTC announced that it had picked ISDB-T but Malacañang subsequently ordered a review.

Mr. Coloma said, "The President [Benigno S. C. Aquino III] directed the NTC and the Information and Communications Technology Office under the DoST (Department of Science and Technology) to formulate a migration plan from analogue to digital regardless of what standard may be adopted".

"The member countries [of ASEAN] are free to adopt the standard that is in accordance to their requirements," Mr. Coloma claimed.

The ASEAN statement, however, noted that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had described DVB-T2 as a "more advanced technology ... and acknowledge[d] the benefits of migrating directly to DVB-T2".

"The ministers also noted that the ADB will be developing common specifications for DVB-T2 receivers to enjoy economies of scale," it said. – EJD, dated 04 March 2012, 10:49 PM

Source: Business World

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