Full shift to digital TV standard in 2023 ‘still tentative,’ NTC’s Lopez admits

The Philippines’s total shift to digital television standard for 2023 is “still tentative,” according to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

NTC Commissioner Ella Blanca Lopez said in a chance interview that while the agency targets to meet its deadline for the shutdown of analog television this year, she acknowledged that this would be a moving target.

“We are still looking at this year, but this is still tentative,” she said. “It will be hard to conduct the shutdown because the whole country is not yet digital-ready.”

When asked how the country is faring in terms of digital TV penetration, Lopez said the Philippines has yet to reach the 50-percent mark, citing difficulties in markets outside Metro Manila.

“The penetration rate in Metro Manila is relatively high, but the penetration rate in the regions is still low. So the provinces are not yet ready,” Lopez said.

The government started the shift towards digital television in 2013 when the NTC chose the Japanese standard over its European standard due to its cost and built-in warning system.

The NTC has set a 2023 target to phase out analog TV, as it expects the penetration rate to reach 95 percent this year.

Image credits: Ifeelstock | Dreamstime.com


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