Cignal not worried by shift to digital free-to-air broadcast

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010


ALTHOUGH the National Telecommunications Commission has ordered the adoption of a digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcast service, operators of Cignal Digital TV Broadcast are not worried about losing their edge in business.

Ray Espinosa, president and CEO of Mediaquest, which is licensed to offer Cignal HD and Cignal Digital TV broadcast, believes it will take time before this can be done.

He noted that consumers will have to change their TV sets to view free-to-air channels that will eventually run on DTT.

During the relaunch of Cignal Digital TV Broadcast in Manila last Tuesday, Espinosa said the shift to DTT will be expensive on the part of consumers as not everyone can
immediately change their TV monitors to conform to the digital broadcast.

The NTC recently passed Memorandum Circular 02-06-2010, which aimed to introduce digital technology to the broadcast service to “ensure the competitiveness of the broadcast industry and afford them the opportunity to provide enhanced services to better serve the viewing public.”

The circular, passed last June, stated that after consultations with the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas and major stakeholders in the broadcast industry, the sole standard to be adopted will be the Integrated Services Digital Broadcast Terrestrial (ISDB-T).

The circular defines ISDB-T as “a flexible digital television (DTV) transmission system that is capable of providing 3 levels of hierarchical modulation (audio, video and data services) to fixed, mobile and handheld terminals without the need for an additional transmission facility.”

The standard was adopted to facilitate the entry of digital broadcast services in the country and to protect the consuming public.

ISDB-T is the standard that is adopted in Japan, Thailand and many countries in South America.

The United States, Indonesia, Singapore and Japan have all switched from analog to digital broadcast transmission.

“Analog signals will be out of business very soon,” Espinosa predicted.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 07, 2010.

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