KBP wants NTC to issue guidelines on digital terrestrial TV

November 24, 2010 1:31 am 

MANILA, Nov. 23 – The Kapisanan ng Broadkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) wants the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to issue guidelines on digital terrestrial TV (DTT) as soon as possible as the termination of analog platform takes place in seven to 10 years yet.

In a letter to the NTC, the KBP said its members have already been preparing for the migration to digital TV from analog platform.

"Capital expenditures have been budgeted and to a certain degree outlaid, notwithstanding uncertainties due to the absence of an IRR and frequency plan," the KBP said.

In June, this year, the NTC approved a memorandum circular mandating the use of Integrated Services Digital Broadcast-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) for digital terrestrial TV migration.

The Philippines will be the first in Asia to adopt the Japanese standard for digital TV.

Besides Japan, other countries that have adopted ISDB-T were Brazil, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Paraguay.

The KBP added that it has interest in the formulation of the implementing rules and regulations and the frequency planning as these will have immediate, medium and long term effects on the operation of its members.

Given this, the KBP is urging the NTC to immediately convene the technical working group for the formulation of the IRR for digital TV and the corresponding frequency planning so that its members can make concrete plans and capital outlays with confidence.

"We view time to be of the essence because the sooner the industry migrates to the digital platform, the faster we can serve with better services. Scarce frequency resources will also be freed up sooner as it will probably take anywhere between seven to ten years before the redundant analog services are terminated," the KBP said.

ABS-CBN Corp. earlier said it plans to spend P3 billion and P5 billion to roll out DTT nationwide for over five years to improve signal, particularly in Metro Manila.

Besides ABS-CBN, GMA Network Inc., ABC Development Corp. and the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. group favored the Japanese platform over the European Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld standard.

Digital TV is a system for broadcasting and receiving digital sound and video signals that requires a specially designed and more advanced TV set than the traditional analog box. This means that upon migration to the digital format, consumers who still have analog TV sets would have to buy set-top boxes to receive digital signals.

According to the NTC, the set-top boxes for the Japanese standard would cost $ 11, while the price for the European standard gadget would range from $ 12 to $ 13.

The regulator estimates that around 14 million Filipino households use analog TV sets. The country originally planned to migrate from analog to digital TV in 2015. (PNA) DCT/DGA/utb

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