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Philippine Analog TV Shuts Off in December 2015

By virtue of an order by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the Philippines will officially shut off its analog television broadcast by December 31, 2015 and will begin the era of Digital Television Transmission (DTT). The United States this year had officially bid farewell to analog television. Both GMA 7 and ABS-CBN, the top 2 networks in the country had already filed for application for digital broadcasting. The Philippines will adopt the European standard DVB-T for terrestrial transmissions to facilitate the country’s transition to digital television, rather than the ATSC system implemented by North American broadcasters devised as a replacement for the NTSC system utilized by North America and the Philippines.

Digital television, or DTV, is a technology that gives viewers crystal-clear pictures and sound, and more programming choices than ever before.

TV 5 or the Associated Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) will be the first if ever to fully transfer to digiral TV. Currently, the network conducts test broadcast on UHF Channel 47. The management of ABC is planning for digitalization by the last quarter of 2010.

GMA Network is presently applying for a digital television license from the NTC to install and maintain transmitting stations that will be attuned with and utilize to offer digital terrestrial television and digital mobile TV broadcast services; using channel 27 (548-554 MHz) frequency. Areas planned for a temporary digital broadcast will cover the cities of Quezon; Makati; Pasig; Tagaytay; and Angeles in Pampanga; and areas like Ortigas; Cavite and Calumpit in Bulacan. CEO Felipe Gozon announced that GMA will transfer to digital television by 2011 or 2012.

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN commissioned as one of its consultants, the Dutch company Impeq Technologies. The network is planning to also supply DTV boxes in areas where signal reception of Channel 2 is weak. Areas such as Valenzuela, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna are the potential market for the DTV set-top boxes. The Metro Manila market will receive DWWX-TV and DWAC-TV and the company's six other cable channels on the digital platform.

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