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Major industry players endorse Japanese digital TV standard after trials

MANILA, Philippines – Major industry players that conducted formal tests on the digital terrestrial TV platform of Japan are happy with the results and await the government’s final go-ahead for its use soon, in preparation for next year’s shift from analog to digital broadcasting.

Residents of  Barangay Calulut in  Mexico, Pampanga tried out the Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting or ISDB-T of Japan, and reported satisfactory results.

“The signal is good, the colors bright,” said Maricel Fernando, who for years had suffered bad TV signal.

“My signal does not bounce,” reported another resident whose TV set at home was attached to the test digibox, Manolo Gonzales.

In the test, they were able to access seven channels well, and said it was obvious that this was much better than the analog signal they were used to.

At least 29 homes in Barangay Calulut were part of the test site of several major broadcasting companies preparing to make the migration, under government regulatory supervision, from analog to digital transmission.

The government is to make a final choice soon between Japan’s ISDB-T platform and the DVBT-2 from Europe.

The industry players are just waiting for the final go-ahead before they roll out the technology.

“We are also doing our own test. TV5 is ready for digital terrestrial TV and we are strongly endorsing the Japanese standard, ISDB-T,” Atty. Ray Espinosa, TV5 president, said on Thursday.

InterAksyon.com is the online news portal of TV5.

“The industry is excited. We’re confident and consumers are excited also,” said Miguel Mercado, head of DTT Marketing of ABS-CBN.

Based on the ABS-CBN test broadcast, more channel options were enabled by the digital multi-frequency platform. The Barangay Calulut residents’ positive experience—the dramatic improvement of signal quality or reception, especially—was shared in other test areas.

Meanwhile, the Japanese platform has the edge, cost-wise. Both the industry players and consumers note the big difference between the cost of using the ISDB-T and DVBT-2.

One digibox of ISDB-T comes up to P2,500, but the European platform is 60 percent costlier at P4,000.

The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and TV5 have strongly endorsed ISDB-T from the start.

ABS-CBN, meanwhile, reported a sharp rise, from 44 to 56 percent, in the number of households willing to shift to digital TV after its two-week trial that started last August 1 in Pampanga and Bulacan.

The NTC had earlier picked the Japanese standard over the European one, but is awaiting feedback from the Aquino Cabinet’s economic team. The NTC needs their assessment of the economic implications of shifting to digital TV and its chosen DTT standard.

NTC deputy commissioner Carlo Jose Martinez said earlier. “If their feedback is to proceed then we will issue the IRR (implementing rules and regulations) already and schedule the signing of the memorandum of agreement with the Japanese.” 

 

InterAksyon.com
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