ABS-CBN launches digital TV

KAPAMILYA DAY - Kane Errol Choa (The Philippine Star) - February 15, 2015 - 12:00am

For years, many Filipinos have endured watching TV with poor picture and sound quality provided by the prevailing analog system. Now, they can say goodbye to blurry TV reception and enjoy TV viewing like cable TV households but need not pay any monthly fee with the launch of ABS-CBN TVplus, the newest innovation on TV pioneered by ABS-CBN that brings dramatically clear picture and audio and four more exclusive free channels that cater to every member of the family.

Josefina Torres, a fan of It’s Showtime, used to watch the Kapamilya noontime show at home with an old TV model. She was delighted upon watching TV after it was connected to a “mahiwagang black box” given by news anchor Ted Failon, who coined and popularized the term in his DZMM morning program Failon Ngayon on weekday mornings.

Nagtitiis po ako araw-araw sa signal ‘pag nanonood ng Showtime,” she said. With ABS-CBN TVplus digital box connected to her TV nowadays, Josie said, “Sabi ko kay Sir Ted, talagang nagliwanag ang buhay ko pati ang TV ko. Hindi na namin pinatay ang TV buong araw.”

ABS-CBN is the first TV network to offer the product in the country after having invested heavily in infrastructure and test broadcast activities in the past seven years to ensure a smooth transition to DTT, which is globally considered the future of television.

ABS-CBN TVplus was officially rolled out at a ceremonial switch-on led by ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III, president and CEO Charo Santos-Concio, and head of access Carlo Katigbak last Feb. 11.

 “The ‘mahiwagang black box’ has long been ABS-CBN’s dream for our fellow Filipinos who don’t get to watch crystal clear TV. Now, everything will change for them,” Santos-Concio said.

“When picture is clearer, it entices people to watch our channel and more offerings. For people who cannot get a clear ABS-CBN signal, we hope they will upgrade to ABS-CBN TVplus because it will give them a better experience of watching ABS-CBN,” said Katigbak.

Not only does ABS-CBN TVplus deliver crisp picture and sound, it also offers a more enjoyable TV watching experience for the whole family. On top of ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN Sports+Action and all other free-to-air channels available via digital transmission, viewers are able to access four more exclusive free-to-air channels upon purchase of a ‘mahiwagang black box’ to be connected to a TV set. 

ABS-CBN TVplus’ exclusive channels include CineMo, the first-ever all-day movie channel on free digital TV that airs a wide variety of action, comedy and blockbuster movies of favorite Pinoy idols.

 Kids can tune in to Yey!, an all-day children’s entertainment channel that features a mix of wholesome action, fun, adventure and edutainment programs for boys and girls.

Knowledge Channel, meanwhile, is the only TV channel with curriculum-based programs and content for primary and secondary students.

ABS-CBN TVplus also offers DZMM TeleRadyo, which airs the live TV broadcast of all-day news, information, commentary and public service programs from the leading AM radio station DZMM Radyo Patrol Sais Trenta.

March Ventosa, ABS-CBN head of narrowcast and DTT channels, said the channel offerings of ABS-CBN TVplus cater to every member of the family and hopes that the offerings will increase their enjoyment and bonding time.

“On CineMo, you get a different flow of movies, from comedy, action and special offerings across the day. We also have Asian movies dubbed in Filipino and English movies. As for Yey!, a lot of our content are quite familiar to the audience. We have family-friendly programs in the morning that cater to the younger kids. As we enter into the day, we introduce the Nickelodeon block, and in the afternoon, we air the animé block with programs such as Naruto and Digimon.”



Leng Raymundo, head of ABS-CBN Program Acquisitions and International Sales Distribution, said they have closed deals with some of the country’s biggest film companies to build a film library of Pinoy idols such as Fernando Poe Jr., Dolphy, Robin Padilla, other Asian action films and English movies for Filipino viewers. We’ve also acquired children’s entertainment programs from Nickelodeon, Toei, Nippon and big Japanese studios.

She stated, “We are confident that our content offerings will satisfy our viewers. Whenever they air on ABS-CBN and cable TV, they rate. Now, our Kapamilya who can’t afford monthly subscription fee for cable TV have a way to watch movies and youth programming all day.”

The ABS-CBN TVplus or ‘mahiwagang black box’ is offered at an affordable one-time payment price of P2,500 only, with no monthly or installation fee. It has also been developed to work with all kinds of TV sets, even older ones, to get crystal clear signal.

There are three ways to buy the box. One, by visiting the ABS-CBN Store, ABS-CBNmobile Store, SM Appliance Centers, 2Go Express, Solid Service Center (Sony Authorized Service Channel), Villman, Silicon Valley, and other electronic, appliance and hardware stores; two, by buying from authorized ABS-CBN TVplus sales agents who are selling house-to-house; and three, by purchasing it online on www.abs-cbnstore.com, calling (632) 488-8888 and 1800-10-4888888 (outside Metro Manila), or sending a text message to 23661.

According to ABS-CBN DTT head Chinky Alcedo, ABS-CBN TVplus will be available where digital signal transmission is currently available, such as Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Benguet and Metro Cebu. 

“ABS-CBN TVplus will soon be widely available in more areas as we aim to bring more digitally clear signal and a more enjoyable TV viewing experience for all Filipinos nationwide,” stated Alcedo.

DTT is just one of the world-class TV innovations and delivering content that ABS-CBN introduced to Filipino audiences. The network was the first to add colors to its broadcast and pioneered cable TV through SkyCable. It has also revolutionized the viewing habits of Filipinos through video-on-demand and live-streaming sites TFC.tv and iWantv! and ABS-CBNmobile, which allows its subscribers to watch ABS-CBN shows on their mobile devices whenever and wherever they are and has been offering original programs and content.

In 2007, ABS-CBN started preparing for the transition from analog to DTT and has since conducted DTT trials in key areas all over the Philippines.

Describing DTT as “just a dream” more than 10 years ago, Lopez said DTT is an investment in Filipinos. 

He said, “We believe that the inspiration and the information that digital TV will beam into their homes will help open new windows of opportunity for every Filipino family.”

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