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ABS-CBN: More Philippine households keen to go digital

Sunday 25 Sep 2011
The number of Philippine households willing to switch to digital TV has increased after a broadcast giant held a two-week trial period, Business Mirror reports.

ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp said on Thursday that it had launched a test broadcast on digital terrestrial TV (DTT) using Japanese technology ISDB-T in selected areas in Pampanga and Bulacan on 1 August.

The test, according to ABS-CBN DTT marketing head Miguel Mercado, showed that the sample households’ willingness to shift from analogue to digital TV increased from 44 percent to 56 percent after a two-week period.

Based on the test broadcast, the strongest drivers are the increase in channel options enabled by the digital multi-frequency platform, as well as the improvement in signal quality or reception, which was cited as the key source of viewer satisfaction.

Mr Mercado, in a briefing, told reporters ISDB-T’s more affordable set-top box has an initial retail price of 2,500 pesos (US$57) while European’s DVB-T technology is said to be 60 percent costlier.

ABS-CBN has been preparing for the shift to digital TV for the past five years. Investments could reach as much as 1 billion pesos (US$22.8 million) this year and next.

Other networks currently conducting broadcast test of ISDB-T technology are Net 25, Gem TV and government station National Broadcasting Network.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has already chosen the Japanese standard over the European technology but has yet to get feedback from the government.