Media giant ABS-CBN Corp. has been investing heavily in digital terrestrial television (DTT) and cable TV, as it aims to bring clear TV viewing to millions of Filipinos.
Around 80% of households in the Philippines do not have cable TV, and majority belong to DE socioeconomic class, according to ABS-CBN DTV marketing head Miguel Mercado.
Of this number, Mercado noted only less than 52% of households receive only two channels of tolerable quality with the current analog TV transmission.
"People do not get clear reception on TV because of the buildings and billboards that create interference in the signal. They don't have a choice and they think it is because of their old TV sets. Digital terrestrial television will diminish the effect of development in the transmission of content and help the government fulfill its mandate of providing citizens access to information as it enables them to view more channels clearly," he said.
Mercado said in the past 6 years, ABS-CBN has invested heavily on infrastructure and test broadcast activities to ensure a smooth transition to DTT.
DTT, considered as the future of television, offers viewers digital clear picture and sound for all existing channels, and more content as each network can broadcast in more than one channel. DTT is seen to replace the existing analog broadcast transmission system in the country by 2015.
While cable TV provides clear picture and audio quality, Mercado noted only 20% of Filipino households have cable, which is why ABS-CBN is preparing for DTT.
"All the network’s efforts of producing world class programs are for naught if the content cannot be viewed and appreciated in its true value, if it even reaches the people at all. But the main reason we continue to innovate is to give the people a choice, an access to a wealth of information and entertainment that analog transmission simply cannot address very well,” he said.
Apart from cable TV and DTT, ABS-CBN is also credited for other innovations such as being the first network to broadcast in color in 1968 and the first to broadcast a locally-produced program and live event in high-definition in 2009.
ABS-CBN's video-streaming website iWantv! is also said to have ushered in the "Internet TV" era in the Philippines, wherein television content is distributed and consumed online.