THE Associated Broadcasting Corp. (ABC), which operates TV5, is pouring between P500 million and P700 million in fresh capital into its operations in preparation for the migration to digital television terrestrial TV (DTT).
TV5 President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Lorenzana said that the amount will be utilized to upgrade infrastructure and transmission capabilities within the next three to four years.
“We need to invest anywhere from P500 to P700 million across three to four years,” Lorenzana told reporters at the sideline of Asia CEO Forum in Makati City.
The move of TV5, the country’s third largest broadcast station, was in response to the move by the Philippines to migrate from analog to digital TV in 2015.
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) earlier said that it is looking at requiring broadcast networks to shut off their analog channels as early as 2018.
NTC Chairman Gamaliel Cordoba said the government plans to cut off analog TV in three to five years to prepare the country’s migration to digital terrestrial TV.
Lorenzana said the station is ready for the migration, as they have already initiated some measures such as upgrading its facilities and transmission equipment.
“The initial part of that is to have a parallel frequency, we’re prepared for that. As far as the future is concerned, I think what we are doing with digital will also get into that, because digital is getting [access]to a lot of content,” he added.
The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the country’s migration to DTT are now being finalized by the NTC.
In November of 2013, the NTC issued Memorandum Circular No. 05-11-2013, adopting Japan’s Integrated Services Digital Broadcast-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) as the standard for the Philippines’ migration to digital TV, and has included the standard in the draft IRR.
The NTC issued the directive after President Benigno Aquino 3rd promised Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the Philippines would choose Japan’s standard over that of Europe.
According to the NTC’s draft rules, TV companies are required to simulcast their DTT service and analog service within a year upon the effectivity of the IRR.
Dealers of brand new televisions will be required to indicate whether the unit can receive both ISDB-T and analog signals, and will be required to supply a set top signal converter box if the television is analog-only.
Besides Japan, other countries that have adopted ISDB-T are Brazil, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Paraguay.