Goodbye Analog TV
TV stations in the Philippines are projected to switch off analog broadcasts in 2023. This is the DICT’s target year for the complete adoption of digital TV in the country.
Secretary Rodolfo Salima of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) unveiled the government’s Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting (DTTB) Migration Plan during the Digital TV Summit 2017 held on February 14-15.
The DTTB Migration Plan outlines the steps of transitioning from analog TV to digital TV technology. While ABS-CBN, GMA and TV5 have already switched-on their digital TV broadcasts, smaller stations are having a hard time since it takes around ₱50 million to acquire digital TV broadcasting equipment.
Tele-viewers also have to invest in digital TV set-up boxes or buy a new TV compatible with ISDB-T digital TV technology. ABS-CBN’s TV Plus and more recently, the Starcube are some low-cost solutions available for consumers.
Emergency Warning Broadcast System
Another advantage that the DICT pointed out with digital TV is the Emergency Warning Broadcast System (EWBS). This is the same as the disaster warning system used by Japan.
When a disaster such as a typhoon is about to hit the Philippines, the government can automatically switch on digital TVs that are in standby mode. Warnings and instructions to safety can then be displayed.