Broadcast giant GMA Network Inc. on Wednesday officially started transmitting digital television (DTV) using permanent frequency, as part of the company's shift from analog TV.
"Today marks another milestone in our digital journey. As of sign on this morning, GMA has begun transmitting digital TV using its permanent frequency," GMA chairman and CEO Felipe Gozon said in a speech during the company's annual stockholders meeting in Quezon City.
According to Gozon, GMA started transmitting DTV on May 15 using its permanent frequency UHF Channel 15, assigned by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
"The viewers of analog TV may continue to watch GMA programs on our free-to-air Channel 7 broadcast," said Gozon.
The government in 2017 said it aimed to phase out analog television by 2023 and to have the industry fully migrated to Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting (DTTB) by then.
"We are targeting four to six years of simulcast before the analog shut off," George P. Tardio, chief of the DICT National Information and Communications Technology Planning, said in February 2017.
Prior to this, the NTC in November 2013 issued a memorandum circular on the "Standard for Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcast Service," following an order of then-President Benigno Simeon Aquino III for the industry to shift to digital TV using the Japanese standard.
Earlier this year, GMA said it was investing over P1 billion to complete the second phase of its digitization project.
"All these state-of-the-art upgrades are part of GMA Network’s ongoing digitization project to bring world-class programming to our viewers here and abroad," Gozon said in February.
"We are excited to unveil more innovative offerings that will not only maintain our position as the country’s leading broadcast network but will also revolutionize TV viewing experience in the Philippines," he said. — BM, GMA News