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NTC sees full migration to digital TV in 10 years

MANILA, Dec. 29 — The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on Wednesday said it expects the full migration to digital terrestrial television (DTT) within the next 10 years.

In its yearend report, the regulator said it has given the go-signal by the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) to convene a technical working group (TWG) for the purpose of drafting the Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) for DTT.

The TWG will be composed of members from the broadcast industry and other stakeholders such as the government, suppliers and consumers.

The regulator expects to issue the IRR within the first quarter of next year.

The NTC added that the broadcasting industry "overwhelmingly" supported the adoption of the Japanese' Integrated Services Digital Broadcast-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) for the Philippines’ migration to DTT.

The Philippines is the first in Asia to adopt the Japanese standard.

"The NTC estimates full migration from analog to digital tv technology within the next 5 years to 10 years," the regulator said.

Ivan John Uy, CICT chairman had said that government wants Tokyo to subsidize part of the migration.

This subsidy would enable consumers with analog TV sets to receive digital signals.

According to the NTC, the set-top boxes for the Japanese standard would cost , while the price for the European standard gadget would range from to .

The NTC estimates that around 14 million Filipino households use analog TV sets. The country originally planned to migrate from analog to digital TV in 2015.

Uy added that the government is finalizing the Memorandum of Cooperation with the Japanese government to prepare for the migration to digital TV.

Under the memo, the Japanese government will provide technical assistance, and train Filipino engineers to become experts in the technology.

The Japanese government will also invest in a set-top box factory in the Philippines. (PNA) LOR/DGA/utb

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