MANILA, Philippines – Broadcast giant ABS-CBN Corp. is set to launch its digital terrestrial television (DTT) service tomorrow almost two months after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued the guidelines on the shift to DTT broadcast (DTTB).
ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio Lopez III and ABS-CBN president and CEO Charo Santos-Concio are expected to lead the ceremonial switch-on. ABS-CBN TVplus, the newest and biggest innovation in Philippine TV, promises to transform Filipinos’ TV viewing experience through clear pictures and sound. ABS-CBN TV plus would air free TV channels via digital transmission as well as four more exclusive free-to-air channels that cater to different audiences. The Lopez-owned company has been investing heavily in the shift to DTT using the Japanese standard over the past few years. NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba issued Memorandum Circular 07-12-2014 last December laying down the rules and regulations for DTTB service to ensure a smooth transition from analog to digital television. “In order to facilitate the entry of digital broadcast services in the country, there is a need to provide the corresponding guidelines for the delivery of digital television services and ensure a smooth transition from analog to digital services,” Cordoba said.
The introduction of digital technology in the broadcasting service would allow the country to keep pace with the development in technology and ensure the competitiveness of the broadcast industry. The government picked Japan’s Integrated Service Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) standard over Europe’s Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial 2 (DVB-T2). Besides Japan, other countries that have adopted ISDB-T were Brazil, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Paraguay. Under the guidelines, analog VHF (very high frequency) TV service should neither be disrupted nor terminated until further orders from the NTC while operators are required to simulcast their DTTB service together with the analog TV service within one year upon the grant of authority to provide DTTB service. VHF TV operators that fail to simulcast within one year would lose their frequency to other qualified UHF (ultra-high frequency) TV operators. Analog UHF TV operators could go directly to DTTB service anytime during the one-year transition period but could also simulcast their DTTB service depending on the availability of frequencies.
Entities with a valid congressional franchise to provide TV broadcasting services may apply for authorization to operate a DTTB service as long as the operators have the financial capacity and technical capability to install, operate, and maintain the proposed DTTB network. (sources from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/02/09/15/abs-cbn-launch-digital-tv-service)