The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) will endorse to administration economic managers the Japanese ISDB-T technology as the country’s standard for digital terrestrial television (DTT), as the majority of broadcast firms’ stakeholders prefer it to the European standard because of cheaper set-top boxes.
Jose Carlo Martinez, NTC deputy commissioner, said the technical working group chose ISDB-T after the Kapisanan ng mga Broadcaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and major television networks ABS-CBN and TV5 supported the Japanese standard.
GMA Network Inc. and Broadcast Enterprises & Affiliated Media Inc. expressed preference for the European standard.
"The implementing rules and regulations on DTT will be release as soon as we receive the go signal," Martinez said.
He is targeting the issuance this year.
The guidelines for the DTT were supposed to have been issued last June, but the Office of the President directed the NTC to do another evaluation between the Japanese and European standards.
Although the European standard was found technically superior, the Japanese set-top box was found much cheaper at $20 against its rival’s $40.
A paper submitted by the KBP said that although the DVB-T2 system is technically superior to ISDB-T, these advantages have been irrelevant to the most important stakeholder in the project as consumers need a cheaper set-top box for migration to DTT.
"The cost of the (box) is the key to harmonizing the opposing interests. The low cost lowers the entry or migration barrier for the consumer and hastens the analog shut off," KBP said.