Digital television in the Philippines

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In the Philippines, digital television broadcasts can be received through digital cable and direct broadcast satellite. Digital terrestrial television (DTT) services are in development by the major broadcasting companies of the Philippines.

The Philippines was using the American NTSC standard for analog television. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) announced in June 2010 that the Philippines would use the Japanese ISDB-T standard for digital television, and issued a circular stating that the country's broadcasters must discontinue their analog services by the transition deadline of 11:59 p.m. (Philippine Standard Time, UTC+8) on December 31, 2015. The commission will be using the ultra-high frequency television channels from 14 to 51 (470-698 MHz) for DTT broadcast service and deliberating channels 14 to 20 (470-512 MHz) which is being used for fixed and mobile services.[1] However, before the announcement, several broadcasters performed trial broadcasts using the European DVB-T standard.

Preparation for the transition to digital television commenced with an issuance of Executive Order 546, series of 1979 and Republic Act 3846 or the Radio Control Law as amended by the local governing body for broadcast services, the NTC adopted the said order to promulgate rules and regulations in order to facilitate the entry of digital broadcast services in the Philippines and implement a specific standard for the delivery of DTT services. Subsequently organizing two technical working groups for the purpose of directing the governing body in the selection of appropriate DTT standard and upon the commendation of investors in the broadcast business, comprising the local broadcasters group, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, and the NTC, issued Memorandum Circular 02-06-2010 on June 11, 2010 implementing the standard for digital terrestrial television broadcast service.[2]

Implementation[edit]

Digital terrestrial television broadcasting systems by country. While the NTC has selected ISDB-T as its DTV standard, it is evaluating DVB-T2 as an alternate option

Since the early 2000s, studies have been carried out on the country's digital television transition. A “wait and see” plan is being trailed and examining progresses with no resolution to ensue with digital television services in the Philippines.[3] The NTC chose to use the Japanese standard ISDB-T for digital television in the country in Memorandum Circular 02-06-2010, noting its capability to 3 levels of categorized modulation (audio, video and data services) to fixed, portable and handheld devices exclusive of the necessity for a supplementary communication facility.[4]

In the draft version of the NTC's proposed regulations for DTV, broadcast companies who intend to provide digital terrestrial television service must have a congressional broadcast franchise before operating such services and have at least 15 television stations throughout the Philippines; have a minimum paid-up capital of 1 billion and accessible locally in 10 regions while broadcasting companies with less than the required television stations and availability locally, the minimum paid-up capital will be ₱1.2 billion, whereas new applicants with no present broadcast station, the paid-up capital will be ₱1.5 billion. For those broadcast companies who intend to delivery digital broadcast locally, must procure a congressional franchise and have at least ₱60 million per digital terrestrial television station. Concurring to the commission, the outline of digital technology in the broadcasting service would guarantee the effectiveness of the broadcast business and provide them the prospect to offer superior facilities to end-user. The draft outline as an enactment of the digital technology in the television broadcast is intended to provide greater number of channels, better screen resolution and stereo sounds through a conventional aerial antenna instead of a satellite or cable TV service.

Initially, the commission adopted the European standard DVB-T for digital broadcasting. The broadcast providers adopt either high-definition television format or its standard definition multiprogramming. The draft IRR also states that a duly broadcast provider with a congressional franchise will deliver analog television service and must carry its present analog television programs through its digital terrestrial television service. For digital broadcast provider aiming to offer pay-per-view or restricted access will be required to seek additional permission from the commission. Supplementary services may be permissible, subject to prevailing decrees, acts and laws. The draft rules equally specify the commission shall continue to process new applications for analog television stations up to December 31, 2008 but will no longer approve or authorized to broadcast beyond December 31, 2010 and all certified digital broadcast providers will relinquish their individual analog frequencies upon the termination of its analog television broadcast transmission by 11:59 p.m., December 31, 2015.[5]

Deployment[edit]

Terrestrial[edit]

Cable[edit]

Satellite[edit]

  • Cignal Digital TV: Cignal Digital TV and its parent company MediaScape (which is owned by the PLDT) invested Php1.5 billion in the implementation of its digital satellite TV services. Cignal uses the DVB-S2 standard for its digital satellite platform.[26][27]

Developments[edit]

  • July 2007. Television firms who plan to broadcast digital terrestrial television services to television and other communication devices cannot implement such as the commission is revising its guidelines on digital television programming. However, the commission allows broadcast firms to test its system while waiting for the implementing rules and regulations (IRR). The development comes in light with telecom company, Smart Communications Inc. through its MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. for its myTV service. The commission reiterates in the absence of IRR, the telecom company cannot charge the service being offered to its subscribers.[28]
  • June 2009. In formulating the transition from analog television broadcast to digital terrestrial television (DTT) transmission in the Philippines and to guide the commission in outlining the planned implementing rules and regulations for the enactment of DTT service, ultra-high frequency television channels 14 to 51 (470-698 MHz) will be assigned to the DTT Broadcast Service and deliberating further channels 14 to 20 (470-512 MHz) which is being used by Fixed and Mobile Service. On June 24, 2009, the local unit of the commission, the Frequency Management Division is assigned to formulate a frequency allocation plan for the effective transmission of appropriate users of channels 14 to 20.[29]
  • February 2010. The Philippines is anticipated to deferment its planned analog television signal automatic switch-off in 2015 due to technicalities in implementing an official digital terrestrial television platform. While other members of Association of Southeast Asian Nations cooperatively accepted the digital video broadcasting-terrestrial or the DVB-T as its favored standard, the Philippines have not adopted any platform.[30]
  • December 2010. The governments of Japan and the Philippines reached a collaboration decision in adopting a memorandum of cooperation resulting in the commission’s earlier pronouncement to use the Japanese’s Integrated Services Digital Broadcast-Terrestrial platform for digital terrestrial television broadcast standard for the Philippines. According to the Commission on Information and Communications Technology, the Japanese government is keen on guiding Filipino counterpart to the technology. The Philippine government also requested its counterpart to shoulder the cost of set-top boxes and also deliberating in rescheduling the compulsory switchover from analog transmission to digital broadcast from an earlier target.[31]
  • February 2011. The National Telecommunications Commission plans to implement the digital terrestrial television service in select key cities in the Philippines in 2012. The governing body desires the transition be implemented gradually. The technical working group has yet not classified where the transition will take place. Key cities in the Philippines are being considered but in the absence of an implementing rules and regulations, the digital terrestrial television service may not be fully consummate to the viewing public. While the transition will be made progressively, broadcasting networks can still convey analog television service although DTT is being rationalized in other areas. Meanwhile, the commission set an 85 percent compliance rate before it consider terminating all analog signals for broadcast transmission.[32][33]
  • March 2011. The National Telecommunications Commission asked to reevaluate the platform to be used for the Philippines digital television broadcast. The regulator is studying the possible implementation of a newer platform, the European second-generation Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial (DVB-T2) substituting the Japanese Integrated Services Digital Broadcast-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) standard that the commission adopted earlier and was the basis of creating implementing rules and regulations for digital broadcast. Experts announced the DVB-T2 is superior to its Japanese counterpart. Broadcasting firms, GMA Network, Inc. and TV5 conveyed their support to reevaluate its earlier decision to adopt ISDB-T platform. The Commission adopted the ISDB-T primarily owing in terms of affordability.[15]
  • April 2011. One of Philippines broadcasting firms, ABS-CBN Corporation, criticized the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for conveying varied indications on the Philippines official stand on digital television standard. The firm panned the commission on its incompetence in supporting its initial pronouncement to implement Japanese digital television standard, the Integrated Services Digital Broadcast-Terrestrial (ISDB-T). In 2010, the commission officially led the digital television period in the Philippines and releases a memorandum circular agreeing to the use of ISDB-T as the standard digital platform. But in recent developments, the commission is considering the European digital television platform, the European Digital Video Broadcast-Terrestrial (DVB-T). According to the commission, the European platform is superior to its Japanese counterpart.[34]
  • May 2011. Television companies in the Philippines have supported the local governing body to reevaluate the digital television standard to be used, and the attempt to reconsider the advancement of the Japanese technology (ISDB-T) over the newer version of the European digital television platform. Broadcasting companies initiated to delay the switchover provided the technology will be used is far more advanced than the initial digital standard adopted on June 11, 2010. GMA Network, Inc. and TV5 agreed to do comparative tests with the European and Japanese standard. The commission is simultaneously drafting the implementing rules and regulations for digital terrestrial television broadcast under the Japanese platform and reviewing the DVB-T2 European standard.[35]
  • August 2011. Philippine local agency, the National Telecommunication Commission has finalized its evaluation on the chosen standard for the digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcast service in the Philippines. The commission adopted the Japan’s Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Television (ISDB-T) standards over its European counterpart, the Digital Video Broadcasting-Television (DVB-T2).[36][37]
  • October 2013. The National Telecommunication Commission reconfirmed the recommendation to adopt the Japanese Digital Television standard as the country's national TV standard after a public hearing.[38]
  • December 17, 2014. The National Telecommunication Commission released the Draft IRR For the transition to Digital Television, the IRR Rules will be effective 15 days from now. This contains selling Set Top Boxes and New TV's with built-in digital ISDB-T Tuner and more.[39]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Office Order
  2. ^ Edited Jun2010
  3. ^ DVB - Digital Video Broadcasting - Philippines
  4. ^ Business Insight Malaya | Business
  5. ^ ABS-CBN Interactive
  6. ^ ABS-CBN Investor Relations - Shareholder FAQs
  7. ^ ABS-CBN unit to roll out digital TV-based teaching
  8. ^ http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/146757-1307676866-broadcast-industry-calls-for-urgent-attention-to-digital-tv-rules.html
  9. ^ http://ptni.tv/index.php/world-news/science-a-technology/3779-broadcast-industry-calls-for-early-release-of-digital-tv-rules
  10. ^ http://www.interaksyon.com/article/5318/tv5-to-run-digital-broadcasting-trials-on-japanese-platform
  11. ^ https://www.facebook.com/DTVPilipinas/photos/pb.183746264984259.-2207520000.1418894072./1022190984473112/?type=1&theater
  12. ^ Olchondra, Riza T. (October 28, 2007). "GMA Network says it's ready for mobile TV competition". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  13. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/article/1/GMA-Network-earmarks-P200M-to-test-digital-TV
  14. ^ Lectura, Lenie (January 10, 2008). "Firms may test digital TV up to March—NTC". BusinessMirror. Retrieved 2008-01-10. [dead link]
  15. ^ a b c http://services.inquirer.net/print/print.php?article_id=20110327-327965
  16. ^ Dagcutan, Aura Marie. "European standard better, says TV exec". BusinessWorld. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  17. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/361984/economy/companies/gma-network-is-ready-for-digital-broadcasting-gma-s-gozon
  18. ^ http://www.net-25.com/news_ISDB-T.html
  19. ^ http://bayanihan.org/2011/06/10/broadcast-industry-calls-for-early-release-of-digital-tv-rules/
  20. ^ SKYCABLE - Why get a Digibox?
  21. ^ SkyCable Digibox: The future of cable TV | The Philippine Star » Business Features » Networks
  22. ^ Business Insight Malaya | Business
  23. ^ Global Destiny allots P700M for shift to digital platform | ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headlines, Breaking News, Video, Analysis, Features
  24. ^ Parasat Cable TV goes digital in Mindanao
  25. ^ Parasat Cable TV : About Us
  26. ^ http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/business/cignal-not-worried-shift-digital-free-air-broadcast
  27. ^ http://www.itmatters.com.ph/inside.php?id=397&article_type=news
  28. ^ http://business.inquirer.net/money/topstories/view/20070727-79007/NTC_reviews_guidelines_on_digital_TV
  29. ^ http://portal.ntc.gov.ph:9081/wps/_officeorder/2009/66_06_2009.html
  30. ^ http://www.dvb.org/about_dvb/dvb_worldwide/philippines/index.xml
  31. ^ http://www.abu.org.my/abu/index.cfm/elementid/65811/Philippines-and-Japan-to-ink-digital-TV-accord
  32. ^ http://businessmirror.com.ph/home/companies/7898-ntc-wants-digital-tv-service-launched-in-key-cities-by-2012
  33. ^ http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/02/24/11/ntc-wants-digital-tv-service-launched-key-cities-2012
  34. ^ http://newsbytes.ph/2011/04/05/abs-cbn-hits-ntc-indecision-on-digital-tv-standard/
  35. ^ http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideBusiness.htm?f=2011/may/19/business1.isx&d=2011/may/19
  36. ^ http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/home/companies/15526-ntc-chooses-japans-isdb-for-phl-digital-tv-standard
  37. ^ "We're 'turning Japanese' on digital TV platform". TV5. 2011-08-23. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  38. ^ http://business.inquirer.net/147071/regulator-sets-hearing-on-digital-tv-standard
  39. ^ http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/12/17/14/ntc-issues-guidelines-shift-digital-tv