Shift to digital television seen happening by ‘16

Industry players await decision on PH standard


MANILA, Philippines—The shift to digital TV broadcasting technology in the country, which would result in better services for millions of households, can still be completed before the end of the Aquino administration, a top government official said.

Once the standard to be used for digital TV in the country is chosen with finality, the shutting off of inefficient analogue signals could take just three years, Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) Deputy Executive Director Monchito Ibrahim said. This is shorter than the previously projected five years.

Ibrahim noted that the use of digital broadcasting would lead to benefits to both consumers and television networks.

“The first benefit is the improvement in the quality of broadcasting. Normal homes can get high-definition content for free with digital TV,” Ibrahim said. “It also allows for interactive broadcasting that can be used in many ways such as conducting surveys or holding contests.”

For the networks, Ibrahim said digital TV would free up significant amounts of radio spectrum that could be used to deliver more content, giving consumers more viewing choices.

He said the ICTO, which is an agency attached to the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), is currently forming a migration plan to digital TV technology for the country.

“President Aquino wants a definite plan that will explain why the country needs this,” Ibrahim said. “There are a lot of issues, chief of which is the cost to consumers.”

Once the controversial issue of what standard to use in the country is resolved, Ibrahim said the biggest challenge would be to convince all homes in the country to spend for the purchase of “set top” boxes—devices that convert digital signals into television images and sounds.

“The goal is to shut off analogue signals in three years,” he said. Once the analogue shut off is complete, television sets without set-top boxes would no longer work.

There are currently two standards competing for the government’s approval: the Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting (ISDB) platform from Japan and the second generation Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB-2) standard from Europe.

The DVB-2 platform is widely recognized as technically superior, but the Japanese standard has been in existence a longer time, which means equipment that supports it is cheaper for both networks and consumers.

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  • delpillar

     Next year, the 12.5-mm thick 40-inch to 65-inch Digital TV will be in mass production.

    In 2014, the 8-mm thick 40-inch to 65-inch Digital TV will be in mass production.

    Sa 2016, kapag analog pa rin ang Pilipinas, sayang ang pagka Hi-Vision and/or HIGH-Definition ng 40-inch to 65-inch (with thickness of 8-mm to 12.5mm) analog lang ang broadcasting. Para bang yung iPhone 4/4S mo with RETINA display ay nag-pe-play ng games 10 years ago based on 256 colors only.

    In the case of the USA, Japan, and Europe, the Platinum Frequency band of 450Mhz, 700-Mhz, 800-Mhz were originally allotted to Analog UHF TV was re-assigned to CDMA-3X, HSPA+, FDD-LTE, TD-LTE and future Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) IP-cellular technologies and Wi-Max Technologies.

  • delpillar

    Another good thing with digital TV is that its digital characteristics (circuitry) are compatible with digital electronics. Many models of digital TV has D-Sub-15 video interface for older PC connections, HDMI/DVI/Display_Port/DiiVA pure digital interface that can display 2560 × 1600 and even 4096 × 2160  video resolutions.

    With this interface connectors, digital electronic terminals like smartphones, PSP, Tablet etc can be projected to Digital TV too.

    Most Digital TV has 100/1000Mbps LAN port and telephone port for interactive internet menu like YouTube, Facebook and telephone shopping.

    Aside from multi-lingual options of the audio, subtitles can also be inserted not only for English Language but for several languages.

    ISDB-T can divide the present 6-Mhz wide spectrum used by Analog Broadcast into 4 slots where in one slot is a digital Hi-Vision output. Two slots can be combined to make a Hi-Vision-High-Definition (HD) broadcasting.

    So with just one ANALOG spectrum PREVIOUSLY given or purchased from the government, ONE TV COMPANY can simultaneously broadcast 2 Hi-vision channels, 1 Hi-Definition (HD) Channel and ONE-SEG Channel (designed for smartphones and cellphones)

  • Pluma Mana

    “President Aquino wants a definite plan that will explain why the country
    needs this,” Ibrahim said. “There are a lot of issues, chief of which
    is the cost to consumers.””

    bakit kelangan pa ni noynoy ng explanation bago magshift sa digital tv? aba eh mapag-iiwanan tayo niyan kung magnonoynoying pa tayo. cost is not an issue. if now everyone can afford to buy iphone, ipad & android based smartphones & tablets why can’t they afford to buy set top box which is cheaper than tablets & smartphones?

    • delpillar

       Tama yan, kung yung mas mahirap na bansa kaysa sa atin like LAOS, Myanmar at Cambodia ay nag-start na ang Digital Terrestrial TV Broadcasting tayo pa kaya.

       HIndi naman overnight na mag-shi-shift. Hindi naman overnight ang termination ng analog broadcast. Sa case ng USA, UK, Japan and several other countries ay seven years before the termination of analog broadcast (complete shift to digital) ay may prior notice ng ni-dessiminate sa public.

      4 years before the implementation, all TV sold in the market should have both analog and digital capabilities.

      1 year before the implementation ay araw-araw na pinapalabas sa TV at radio ang reminder about the complete shift to digital.

  • Padre_De_Pilipinas

    Looking forward to better quality TVs with cheaper price :-) why hasn’t anyone invested on making these!

    • delpillar

      Samsung and LG sold in the Philippines of LED-backlight LCD screen with the size of 32-inches is only about 20,000 pesos.

      This is the same average price (400 USD) of 32-inch LED-Backlight LCD TV in Korea, Japan, China, USA, Kuwait, Qatar with Pure DIGITAL-TERRESTRIAL Tuner or Hybrid Analog/Digital Tuner already.

      Kung nag-ba-bargain sales pa nga sa mga nasabing bansa, ang Samsung,LG LED LCD TV (with DIGITAL TUNER) ay 299USD lang.

      Another advantage of Digital TV is that at screen sizes of more than 32-inches (37-inch, 42, 48, 55, 65-inches) ay sharp images and crystal-clear pa rin ang reception with stereo dolby 5.1 surround sound system

  • delpillar

    There are 4 major formats or standards of Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting:

    1. USA, Korea
    2. Europe or DVB-2
    3. ISDB-T Japan and most of Latin American countries.
    4. China (Cambodia and some parts of Myanmar and Laos

    Starting 2008, every year several countries are completely moving to Digital Terrestrial.

    In Asia, only Japan and possibly the Philippines will be using ISDB-T.

    But Japan promised that it will help making Set-top boxes in the Philippines by making a factory with a lot of subsidy. All the workers are Filipinos.

    One of the best advantage of ISDB-T is the ONE-SEG, where one segment of the frequency is allotted to 320 x 420 screen video/audio broadcast for cellualr phones and tablet. In Japan, almost all cellphones, smart phones haas ONE-SEG capabilities. You can watch your favourite programs and news on your cellphones.

  • iAn

    …this has been a long OVERDUE..

  • joboni96

    what’s wrong with analog tv?

    pakana lang ito ng mga
    1. tv manufacturers
    2. tv equipment manufacturers
    3. networks

    to sell more products and services
    for more profits
    from us

    with government connivance

    laking pera nito

    di mo na rin magagamit
    analog tv mo

    • Indong Croce

      This is utak talangka to the max. Siguro mabuti rin i-point out mo iyong positives ng digital TV, may naisip ka na ba kahit isa? There is no way but to move forward…..

      • joboni96

        yup no way to go but
        to the pockets of the dayuhan
        intsik at negosyante

        damingang frequency
        ayaw pagamit at
        di ginagamit

        capitalist trick lang yan
        bago ng bago
        para makabenta paulit ulit

        utak unggoy yan
        monkey see, monkey do
        kahit di kailangan

      • delpillar

        anong madaming frequency…

        Paki-lista nga kung anong frequency ang available pa sa Pinas at yung hindi pa ginagamit or ayaw ipagamit.

        OR, paki-lista ang frequency allocation from 1 Mhz to 2,400 MHz frequency bands at alin ang ginagamit ng FM, TV, Local Government, cellular phone 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, CDMA Wireless-landline, cordless phone, Citizens Band, Amateur Radio/Enthusiast Band, Phil. Army Band, Navy and Commercial Shipping Band, Aircraft and Airport band, Fire and Police Dept band, MERALCO Remote monitoring equipment frequency band, Medium Wave, Shortwave, Garage Door Frequency, Remote Control Airplanes/helicopter/cars frequencies……. then alin ang sinasabi mong madami pang available or di ginagamit na frequency. Please tell the frequency band na available pa

      • joboni96

        mag research ka sa uhf tv
        ano ang mga awarded at
        ilan ang on air

        nagpapasikat ka sa alam mo
        tv lang naman ang usapan dito

        o di mo alam

    • Pluma Mana

       pede mo pang gamitin yun analog tv mo. kaya nga may set top box.

      • joboni96

        alam ko

        kaya nga kawawa
        mga walang pambili
        ng digital tv o
        set top box

        pero ok sa mga negosyante
        meron na naman bagong mabebenta
        saturated na kasi market for analog tv

        gets mo ba yung ponto?

      • Pluma Mana

         walang pambili? yan ang di kapani-paniwala. meron ngang pambili ng shabu, alak, pansabong, pangsugal, pangbeerhouse, smartphone at tablet eh set top box lang di kayang bilhin?

      • joboni96

        yan ang isip
        ng isang makikinabang
        sa digital tv business

    • Pluma Mana

       “what’s wrong with analog tv?”

      it’s like asking “what’s wrong with using spears & arrows in defending yourself against your enemy armed with missiles & rockets?”

      • joboni96

        laking deperensya
        unang una di ka matetepok

        kailangan ba ng bayang pilipino


        kailangan ng mga negosyante

      • marvin mencias

        di sya kailangan per se ng lahat ng pilipino, pero isang hakbang sya para sa maraming pang posibilidad sa industriya at komersyo. Anything that drives those two tingin ko naman makakabuti sa bansa

      • joboni96

        makakabuti sigurado
        sa mga negosyante
        lalo na intsik at dayuhan

        pero sa bayan?

  • brunogiordano

    “but the Japanese standard has been in existence a longer time, which
    means equipment that supports it is cheaper for both networks and

    browsing ebay mas mahal ISDB-T kaysa DVB-2 set top box at kokonti ang nagbebenta.

    at ang karamihan ISDB-T set top box na binibenta ay pang-kotse (car)

    • delpillar

       2 to 3 years before the complete shift to Digital Terrestrial broadcasting in Japan, ang 32-inch LCD-LED TV cost 10 to 15 lapad (50,000 to 80,000pesos).

      3 months before the complete shift to digital (3 months before June 24, 2011), same type of TV cost only 4 to 6 lapad (20,000 to 30,000 pesos).

      When the demand for TV sets is enormous, many companies from Taiwan, Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia etc will flood the market making the prices cheaper and cheaper.

      • brunogiordano

        ang sinasabi ko ay set top box. ‘yon set top box para ISDB-T ay sobra ng mahal VS DVB-2 ngayon.

      • delpillar

         sa case ng Japan ay ganun din ang kaso, ung STB (or they commonly known as Digital-TV Tuner) ay masyadong mahal 2 to 3 years before the official shift to digital terrestrial broadcasting (ISDB-T). It cost from 15,000 yen to 40,000 yen before (about 7,500 pesos to 20,000 pesos).

        Now they cost only from 4,000 Yen to 10,000 yen (2,000 pesos to 5,000 pesos).

        Yung pang-kotse na ginagamit sa Japan, 12 Latin American Countries etc ay hindi sya standard or full-pledge (High-Definition and or High-Vision) ISDB-T. It is only one segment of the whole spectrum and has a resolution of 480×640 only. This is called ONE-SEG (or 1seg) ISDB-T or 1SEG OFDM TV Receiver.

        Most models of car navigation in Japan has 1SEG TV receiver. There are some adaptors for iPhone and some type of USB-Dongles with small antenna that can turn your laptop/PC intro Digital TV Tuner with a resolution of 640×480 only. These USB dongles before was 20,000 yen (10,000pesos). Now it is from 4,000  to 10,000 yen (2,000 to 5,000 pesos) only.

        Ang problema pala, sa Pilipinas, in most cases, habang in-demand ay lalong nagsisipag-taasan ang mga presyo. Baka pagdating ng shift-to-digital broadcasting ay mag-triple pa ang mga presyo.

      • brunogiordano

        sa NGAYON tunay na mahal ang ISDBT  set top box vs DVB-2.

        kaya dapat gawin ang standard dito sa PILIPINAS ay DVB- 2 at hindi ISDB-T.

  • Pinagiisipan Pa Ba Yan?

    Maraming bibili ng STBs, considering that we watch TV a lot. Plus pa yung mga sub-channels to be included….

  • legrandcharles

    “…the biggest challenge would be to convince all homes in the country to spend for the purchase of “set top” boxes…”

    I don’t think it would take a lot of convincing. Palagay ko maraming handang magutom, makapanood lang ng mga noon time variety show at game show. Dapat sana hindi ganun, but when faced with utter hopelessness and despair, escapist fare is priceless.

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