Full migration to digital TV doable by 2023, says DICT

Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - June 14, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is on track with its full migration to digital television, Information and Communications Technology Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio said.

Rio is satisfied with the progress he is seeing so far from all stakeholders involved.

“So far there are no major complaints or anyone saying that it is not doable. So we are really on track. Now, almost all the television sets in the market are digital-ready,” Rio said.

Rio admitted the country’s digital shift is behind most countries, mostly due to its late start and the lack of availability of digital-ready TV sets in the past.

According to the DICT chief, broadcast stations are also embarking on their respective initiatives to comply with the full migration plan by 2023.

ABS-CBN Corp. is so far one step ahead of the competition with its continuing digital transformation initiatives.

As of February, the company sold seven million ABS-CBN TVplus units since its launch in 2015.

It also unveiled early this month a mobile version of ABS-CBN TVplus in the form of a dongle, called the ABS-CBN TVplus Go, which allows Filipinos on-the-go to watch shows available on networks broadcasting in digital anytime and anywhere.

GMA Network, for its part, signed last January a technology, content, and distribution agreement with PLDT and Smart Communications which will involve the launch of game-changing innovations that will power the TV network’s digital transformation.

GMA plans to launch its own digital device in the second half.

The affordable and compact end-user device called MyGMA Go  can act as a digital TV receiver when connected to an Android smartphone.

Complimentary to this device is a mobile application that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store where users can watch GMA’s exclusive channels and other free-to-air channels without a need for an active internet connection. 

The DICT launched in 2017 its digital terrestrial television broadcasting migration plan which aims to have 95 percent of the country’s households switch to digital television by 2023.

By 2023, the analog system would be switched off completely and would be replaced by digital television transmission.

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