Shift to digital TV to cost consumers less than P1,000 for set top box
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - November 6, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Filipino households would have to spend close to P1,000 to acquire set top boxes after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a circular on the country’s impending shift to digital technology using the Japanese standard.

Edgardo Cabarios, director for regulations branch of NTC, said the agency has issued the memorandum circular for “Standard for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Broadcast Service” yesterday.

Rivals ABS-CBN Corp. and GMA Network Inc. did not oppose the adoption of Japan’s Integrated Service Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial or ISDB-T standard as the industry spent billions of pesos in preparation for the shift to digital TV.

ABS-CBN spent P2 billion followed by GMA with close to P1 billion and TV5 with P500 million.

Cabarios said a technical working group (TWG) would be formed in the second week of December to formulate the implementing rules and regulation (IRR).

As part of the IRR, he said major stakeholders of the industry would finalize the cost of the shift including the cost of the set top box.

Cabarios said consumers would have to shell out less than P1,000 for the set top box to be able to receive signal for the digital TV.

According to him, the IRR would help determine whether the cost of the set top box would be subsidized.

The circular was signed by NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba paving the way for the creation of a technical working group that would craft the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) starting December.

President Aquino announced after meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the Asean Meeting in Brunei last month that the Philippines was poised to pick the Japanese digital TV standard.

Digital television is an innovative transmitting technology transforming television-viewing experience through better picture and sound quality.

Malacanang has commissioned Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) last year to draft the migration plan to aid the government in deciding which standard to use in the country’s shift to digital TV. ICTO said the Japanese is a more appropriate model as the European model has higher modulation and has more complicated modulation techniques.

Both NTC and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) have endorsed to Malacanang the Japan’s Integrated Service Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial or ISDB-T standard over Europe’s Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial 2 or DVB-T2.

NTC was supposed to issue the implementing rules and regulations for digital TV in July 2010 but was delayed after Malacañang ordered a review. Besides Japan, other countries that have adopted ISDB-T were Brazil, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Paraguay.

The Philippines had planned to migrate to digital TV from analog come 2015.

Cordoba earlier said the country’s complete migration to digital terrestrial television would take at least five years.

 

ASEAN MEETING BESIDES JAPAN BROADCAST SERVICE CABARIOS COMMISSIONER GAMALIEL CORDOBA COSTA RICA DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DIGITAL DIGITAL TERRESTRIAL TELEVISION INTEGRATED SERVICE DIGITAL BROADCASTING-TERRESTRIAL
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