The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in the Philippines has finally adopted the use of Japanese-based terrestrial digital TV broadcast system called Integrated Services for Digital Broadcast-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) last March of 2011, first introduced to broadcast by GEM HD in 2009. The system will start to roll out ISDB-T DTV tuner unit to the public in June of 2011 only if the agency would complete the finalization of Implementing Rules And Regulation (IRR) to broadcast terrestrial DTV for various TV stations. ABS-CBN would also roll out their own prototype of ISDB-T DTV tuner in order to access five premium sub-channels out of total seven sub-channels–including Channel 2 and Channel 23–per UHF Channel 35. GMA-7, too, should also adopt to use ISDB-T system instead of using a possible migration of DVB-T2 format, claiming that it produces clearer image and more sub-channel space, though the agency has been rejected based on their regulation due to the issue of cost of DTV format unit to the consumer and the accessibility of stable transmission.
In spite of the opposition of most loyal televiewers of GMA-7 around Mega Manila while they were confident to use their analog TV sets to access Channel 7 because of advantage of clear video and strong transmission, they convinced that “ABS-CBN would be used offer to promote to watch its main local channel in DTV format for free viewing to the public in order to re-dominate TV audience meter data away from analog TV broadcast.” But the supporter of the use of free-viewing terrestrial DTV broadcast disregards to the loyal televiewers from supporting the conventional use of analog TV transmission, since not only about the issue of (1) multipath reception causing “ghost” images and (2) weak analog TV signal causing “snowy” images in some channels, but the current GMA-7 analog TV transmitter consumes electricity power.
In the past, various local TV networks in the Philippines charge hundreds of thousands of pesos every month of a year depending on a given analog TV transmission power (such as 40 KW, 60 KW, or 100 KW), causing a huge electricity costs. This was a main disadvange for other small-player TV network–even though they limit analog TV transmitting power as well as cheap video quality–in spite of slump TV audience count at present, causing financial losses while backing out media advertisers. Two competing private-run giant TV networks such as ABS-CBN and GMA-7, on the other hand, have often offer their popular local TV shows to enjoy for the TV viewing public in order to gain more money paid from advertisers for operating both their TV broadcast facility and power-hungry analog TV transmission.
As for the case of current GMA-7 analog TV transmission, the network may not important to sacrifice their financial purposes to operate such power-hungry electrical consumption, but the use of modernized free-viewing terrestrial digital TV transmission is a must for them, since it consumes less electrical power cost at about only 1 KW, with an advantage of clear digital video reception. But because of the tallness of TV tower structure, if implemented on the use of UHF RF signal as a standard for ISDB-T DTV, it should limit on a given standard electrical power since–with a frequency range of 470 MHz to 890 MHz–it acts as like as a modern mobile telephone devices and satellite transmission that powers 1 GHz to 30 GHz transmission (often used on microwave oven unit at 2.4 GHz) that would be dangerous to humans due to harmful ultra-high frequency electromagnetic radiation, unlike other TV tower with a limited tall structure in order to become compatible on a given UHF TV channels. UHF Channel 27–though rumored–would be suggested for GMA TV tower on terrestrial DTV broadcast, while other UHF TV channels would stay at channels 35, 47, and 49 for compatible TV tower of ABS-CBN, NBN, and GEM HD, respectively.
And as for the network’s loyal televiewers, they should not sacrifice to view their eyes over a multipath or weak analog video reception on their TV sets accessing Channel 7 in some remote areas as well as those not using an antenna, but they should aware about the advantage of free-viewing terrestrial digital TV broadcast technology.