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GMA Network to spend P416M on digital terrestrial TV

GMA Network Inc. is initially spending P416 million on the transmitter for its digital terrestrial television (DTT) project.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, GMA said that the amount would cover three high-powered transmitters and related antennas and connectivity requirements, as well as a fully-mirrored head-end system, which is a master facility for grouping and digitally encoding programs.   

The network noted it is adapting the Japanese DTV standard or Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting (ISDB-T) in compliance with the rules and regulations of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

“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 roll-out 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.

For his part, GMA President and COO Gilberto R. Duavit Jr. said, "It will not be long before our DTT product is introduced to the market. All technical back-end requirements related to the roll-out have long been ready, including the media asset management and broadcast automation systems."

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 both as receiver for digital television and 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, GMA said.

The Intellectual Property Office has issued a Certificate of Registration for the Utility Model application of the device.

GMA’s DTT product will not only be different but better than what the competitor has introduced to the market, Gozon said. — Ted Cordero/VS, GMA News