is ready to launch five new premium channels on freeto- air TV via digital television (DTV), a high-tech standard that uses digital signals for broadcast.
DTV occupies lesser space in the frequency so that a single TV station can broadcast on more than one channel, giving viewers more program options. DTV also produces better picture and sound compared to the analog system.
The new channels to be made available include two channels for kids, a channel for the youth, a channel for dads and a channel for moms. Upon the purchase of a DTV Digibox to be connected to the television set, viewers will be able to enjoy these channels for free in addition to the existing channels broadcasting in digital. By the time ABS-CBN DTV is launched, the list will include Channel 2, Studio 23, GEM TV and NBN.
According to Miguel Mercado, ABS-CBN DTV head of Marketing, ABS-CBN is ready to launch DTV operations within the year. He said the company is just waiting for the go-signal from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
“With Philippine broadcasting companies going digital, the viewing public will be able to enjoy digital quality viewing in any TV as DTV addresses the issues of poor reception, grainy pictures and choppy audio,” Mercado said.
The NTC has directed the local television industry to make a complete transition to digital by 2015. ABS-CBN has been preparing for the switchover since 2007. Recently, the network conducted DTV trials in more than 1,000 households all over the Philippines. Viewers have also expressed willingness to buy the DTV Digibox, which only costs as much as a DVD player, so that they could get the new channels for free.