NTC Drafts DTV Broadcasting Rules for Philippines

The National Telecommunications Commission, the telecommunications regulatory agency in the Philippines, has drafted regulations for DTV broadcasting. In its Explanatory and Draft Memorandum Circular For Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcast Services, the NTC mandated use of the DVB-T broadcast standard.

NTC had representatives from its organization, network associations, broadcaster/network operators and industry associations, join together in a Technical Working Group to evaluate DTT standards.

NTC said that the TWG "has determined that while ATSC and DVB-T differ little in video/audio quality and program capacity, the latter offers advantages in terms of terrestrial transmission/networking, interoperability with other technology applications, proven capacity for mobile terrestrial reception, its ability to satisfactorily address the multipath/ghosting problem and its capacity to support single frequency networks."

In support of DVB-T, NTC said, "...current deployment of digital television systems show that DVB-T is emerging as the global preference, with far more countries having adopted, or are in the process of adopting, the DVB platform, thus ensuring equipment availability and enhancing affordability."

The circular said that NTC and the TWG had a videoconference with ATSC Forum President Robert Graves, as well as Wayne Luplow of the U.S. Consumer Electronics Association "in order to discuss technical concerns and to request for updates on the developments to the ATSC platform." NTC said that the ATSC Forum had yet to comment on the previous consultative documents it issued.

NTC also looked at the best frequencies for DTV and rejected VHF channels. The circular said that while digital television could be broadcast in the VHF band, that band was more susceptible to man-made interferences than UHF frequencies. NTC also indicated a preference for frequencies below 700 MHz, saying they were more suitable for mobile TV, which NTC called "one of the most anticipated developments in DTT."

Analog television broadcasting in the Philippines is scheduled to end by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2015, and stations will have to return their analog broadcast frequencies.

For additional information, see the draft of Rules and Regulations for Digital Terrestrial Television on the National Telecommunications Commission - Republic of the Philippines Web site.