• NTC sets ground for shift to digital TV

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    A key official of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said on Monday that the agency would likely issue the memorandum circular for the Standard for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Broadcast Service in December.

    “We would likely issue the memorandum circular for Standard for Digital Terrestrial Television [DTT] Broadcast Service next month,” NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios said.

    NTC said that the major players in the industry did not oppose the adoption of Japan’s Integrated Service Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial or ISDB-T standard.

    Cabarios said that out the industry led by rivals ABS-CBN Corp. and GMA Network Inc. was well represented during the public hearings on the matter.

    “Nobody opposed the proposal to adopt the Japanese or ISDB-T standard,” Cabarios said.

    NTC said that the proponents raised some clarifications on some provisions, particularly on definitions in the proposed memorandum circular.

    “They wanted to clarify some definition in the circular. We have to study their comments as any change in the definition might restrict or expand the meaning,” he added.

    NTC will issue the circular next month, paving the way for the creation of a technical working group that would craft the implementing rules and regulations starting December.

    Digital television is an innovative transmitting technology that has transformed television-viewing experience. It has enabled broadcasters to offer television with better picture and sound quality. It also offers multiple programming choices.

    Shut off analog signal
    In April 2011, the NTC ordered all broadcasting companies in the Philippines to shut off their analog signal by December 2015 and switch to digital broadcast.

    On March 27, 2011, the local regulator ordered an evaluation of the standard to be used by the Philippines for digital television, and is reconsidering the second generation Digital Video Broadcasting from Europe.

    But the Philippines will be using the Japanese Terrestrial Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting protocol to facilitate the country’s transition to digital television, rather than the Advanced Television System Committee system implemented by North American broadcasters devised as a replacement for the National Television System Committee system utilized by North America and the Philippines.

    The NTC chose the Japanese standard because it is cheaper than Europe’s Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial 2 or DVB-T2. The Philippines will be the first in Asia to adopt the Japanese standard for digital TV.

    “There is a need to adopt a specific standard for the delivery of digital terrestrial TV services in order to facilitate the entry of digital broadcast services in the country,” the NTC said.

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