ABS-CBN prepares to launch digital TV
By ZINNIA DELA PENA The Philippine Star
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. is preparing to launch its digital terrestrial TV (DTT) service in the next few months as it steps up efforts to address reception problems in Metro Manila, the suburbs and parts of Central Luzon. Vivian Tin, ABS-CBN head of research and business analysis, said the company is spending a few billion pesos over the next few years for the rollout of its digital television service.
The move is also aligned with the global broadcast industry’s thrust to switch off analog television programming as early as 2010. Tin said the reception problem is limited to the fringe areas that are serviced by the company’s Metro Manila transmission tower and some areas in Central Luzon that are dependent on its transmission from the North. “With DTT, the issue of reception will become moot,” she said.
Broadcast companies worldwide are starting to make inroads into DTT programming because it is seen as a cost effective alternative to cable or satellite systems. Tin said consumers benefit because digital broadcasting allows stations to offer improved picture and audio quality. Rather than being limited to just one analog program, a broadcaster can offer a super sharp “high definition” digital program or multiple standard definition digital programs simultaneously through a process called multicasting.
Tin said that with digital TV, viewers will have more programming choices. ABS-CBN earlier said DTT will be a free air-to-air TV service. The National Telecommunications Commission has given television broadcast companies until Dec. 31, 2015 to fully convert from analog to digital technology, in line with the worldwide shift towards the use of DTT in broadcasting.