The world in digital
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- Edad 22
Digital Television Transition or Digital Switchover is a series of action in which analog television broadcasting is replaced by digital television broadcasting. According to the summit held in the year 2006 in Switzerland, International Telecommunciation Unio (ITU) mandated that by June 17, 2015, nations across the globe must have migrated to analog television broadcasting to digital television. The digital transfer is part of the outline to implement the Geneva Frequency Plan Agreement which was agreed at the convention. As of today, 80% of the countries have already gone digital. The country, Netherlands, switched off all analogue services last December 11, 2006 being the first country to migrate. In 2015, along with India, Hong Kong, Thailand, Mexico, Iran, Russia, Libya and United States, the Philippines is set to go digital.
Digital television has its advantages in terms of the benefits an end-user can get. The sound fidelity and resolution are both far high in digital television than that of analogue broadcasts. More channels can be offered through digital multiplexing. The government and local industries can also make use of this technology to introduce new products and services through mobile telephony, wi-fi internet, and other nationwide telecommunication projects. Digital television transmission is more efficient and easier to integrate. After the global switch-off, analogue televisions will be incapable of receiving over-the-air broadcasts without a digital converter.
In the Philippines, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) officially announced last June 2012 that the digital transition would utilize the Japanese standard noting its capability and stated that broadcasters shall discontinue their analogue services by December 31, 2015. There have been preparations and regulations in order to facilitate the entry of digital broadcast in the country. In an article published in Philippine Star, digital television usage in the Philippines is expected to grow to 21% by 2015. The adaptation of the Japanese standard still awaits final approval from President Benigno Aquino. Edwin Lacierda stated in an interview that some concerns are still being studied by the President but assured that there will be a decision before the switchover deadline.
Telecommunication is a complex system and it requires a lot of work. To be able to come up with something like this, it also means that there is a greater cost behind this new technology. Rich countries like the United States or Japan are very well capable of carrying such transition instantly. In nations where money is not an issue, digital switchover is just a piece of cake. Our country, ever since it became under the administration of PNoy, obviously has developed into one of Asia’s nations with stable economies. Without necessarily doubting our country’s capability, I believe that Filipinos are not yet ready for this kind of change in terms the financial requirement. This innovation sure does needs not just a large amount of manpower but also it has a high price to be paid. Not every Filipino can afford neither a digital television nor a digital converter box. The government as well, cannot provide every household with either of the two. Television is a commodity every family should have at present time. It is where everything- from national news to your everyday entertainment- is being broadcasted and delivered to you at the comfort of your home.
The power and potential of digital television can also be considered a threat to security and privacy. With its infinite ability, anyone from anywhere can get an easy access to the tiniest specie living at the most corner part of the universe. Telecommunication is a prime global mover but at the same time, it can also destruct.
We are only two years from the “big transition.” By 2015, the world is definitely in digital and our country is not an exception. At this point in time, the best we can do is to prepare financially and physically for the switchover. Furthermore, we must also invest on improving our communication facilities and telecommunication systems in order for us to adapt well on the incoming transition.