GMA to begin DTT rollout in the Philippines

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
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GMA Network to initially spend P416 million on DTV transmission facilities

Broadcast giant GMA Network, Inc. (GMA) is initially spending P416 million ($8.4m) on transmitter facilities for its Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) project.

The amount covers three high-powered transmitters and their related antenna and connectivity requirements, as well as a fully-mirrored head-end system, which is a master facility for grouping and digitally encoding programs.

GMA is adapting the Japanese DTV standard or ISDB-T in compliance with the rules and regulations of the National Telecommunications Commission.

“Considering the increasing number of ISDB-T ready homes in the country, we are now prepared to exit the test phase and begin with the first part of our DTT rollout in Mega Manila. We are replicating the same level of superiority and consistency that we have exhibited in our analog signal as we shift to digital,” said GMA Chairman and CEO Felipe L. Gozon.

Meanwhile, according to GMA President and COO Gilberto R. Duavit Jr., “All technical back-end requirements related to the roll-out have long been ready, including the media asset management and broadcast automation systems. It will not be long before our DTT product is introduced to the market.” Earlier, at the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) Digiconn, GMA’s technology arm GMA New Media, Inc. (NMI) unveiled a prototype of the Network’s DTT product, which can function as both a receiver for digital television and a digital media set-top box.

The device can enable digital broadcast services on analog TV while transforming the unit into a smart TV capable of playing on-demand content and running different applications. The Intellectual Property Office has issued a Certificate of Registration for the Utility Model application of the device. Gozon said that GMA’s DTT product will not only be different but better than what the competitor has introduced to the market.