The meeting of Pres. Benigno ?Noynoy? Aquino III and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe at the recent Asean summit in Brunei appears to have finally swung the pendulum in favor of the Japanese digital TV standard, known as Integrated Service Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial or ISDB-T.
It has been three years since the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a circular adopting the Japanese digital platform. Malacanang, however, suspended its implementation after broadcast firm GMA-7 argued that Europe?s Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial 2 or DVB-T2 was a better standard.
The indecision has led to a stalemate in digital TV development in the country even if other stations such as ABS-CBN and Net-25 have already invested in ISDB-T as a result of the NTC resolution.
The meeting with Abe ? and the promise of more Japanese aid such as border patrol boats ? may have finally provided the breakthrough as Aquino told the Japanese premier that the Philippines is now leaning towards ISDB-T.
The president told the media at the Philippine Embassy in Bandar Sari Begawan that a technical working group has completed its assessment and that it recommended the adoption of the Japanese system.
?May last step na gagawin ang NTC, which is to hold a hearing among the stakeholders. So parang we are migrating to the Japanese digital standard ? that?s one thing we discussed,? he said.
The reason why local industry experts prefer the Japanese standard is its ability for an emergency broadcast during emergencies, he said, noting its usefulness during the Fukushima nuclear leak incident.
Aquino said that while proponents of the European TV platform said they could also come up with similar capability, the ISDB-T has already a leg up since Japan is frequently visited by disasters like the Philippines.
?The European continent is not visited by disasters that Japan and us have. So they might be able to meet that need, whereas Japan has demonstrated capability already,? the chief executive said.