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More Filipinos shifting to digital TV

More Filipinos are shifting to digital television, with two surveys showing that adoption in Metro Manila alone has surpassed the 50-percent mark.

This was based on a pair of March 2018 surveys from Pulse Asia and SWS, shared on Thursday by media giant ABS-CBN Corp.

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ABS-CBN launched its digital TV (DTV) service in 2015, ahead of rival GMA Network, which is rolling out its own DTV devices by next month.

According to Pulse Asia and SWS, anywhere from 51 percent to 56 percent of Metro Manila homes owned a digital terrestrial TV (DTT) box . These devices allow clearer audio and picture quality, and offer more programs.

Pulse Asia’s survey showed that 16 percent of homes nationwide had a digital TV box while the figure stood at 17 percent for SWS.

“The results from the polling firms show that more and more consumers are making the big switch from analog to DTT,” ABS-CBN said in a statement. The company has sold around five million digital TV boxes since 2015, the statement showed.

Television broadcasters are making the shift to digital after the Philippines chose the Japanese DTT standard over its European counterpart in 2013.

Last year, the National Telecommunications Commission announced the “switch off” of analog TV would happen in 2023. It expected that roughly 95 percent of all households would have access to digital TV by then.

ABS-CBN noted that its digital TV service was available in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Rizal, Laguna, Pampanga, Tarlac, Benguet, Cavite, Metro Cebu, Cagayan De Oro, Iloilo, Bacolod and Davao.

ABS-CBN said the platform also allowed it to show exclusive content, citing CineMo, an “all-day” movie channel. It said CineMo was now the third most watched channel in Metro Manila with an average audience share of 7 percent for the month of April, using data from Kantar Media.

During its annual stockholders’ meeting this week, GMA chair and CEO Felipe Gozon told reporters the company successfully launched the first phase of its digital TV transmission project last December.

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Next month, GMA will seal an agreement with a Chinese supplier for the manufacture of devices that will convert the company’s analog TV transmissions to digital. Gozon said GMA aimed to sell one million devices within a year.

By June, GMA expects its digital TV platform to be available across key areas across the country.

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TAGS: ABS-CBN, digital TV, GMA network
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