Electronics firms to be tapped to reproduce digital TV receiver

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

September 21, 2020, 7:39 pm

<p>(<em>Logo grabbed from DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute's Facebook page</em>)</p>

(Logo grabbed from DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute's Facebook page)

MANILA -- The Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) will ask local electronics companies to mass-produce a digital TV receiver that the agency is currently testing, an executive said on Monday.

ASTI's head of Research and Development, Peter Banzon, told the Philippine News Agency that these companies will mass-produce and commercialize the digital TV receiver, once this is proven successful under the RuralSync project.

"Under this project, there is a prototype digital TV receiver that can be connected to a computer to receive digital files (such as books, educational videos, audio lectures, among others). (These files) can be displayed on a computer or tablet free of charge using a TV frequency of an existing TV transmitter like the PTV-4, for instance, if they have the equipment that could transmit the digital files," he said, adding that the other term for this is Datacasting.

Banzon said the testing and enhancement of the prototype are currently ongoing.

According to DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, the RuralSync Project aims to explore the use of various wireless technologies based on TV broadcast signals in updating educational electronic materials and other multimedia content in remote areas.

"This project is also in line with the directive of the President (Rodrigo Duterte) for DOST to explore various means, including unused TV frequencies, to support online learning, particularly in areas with low internet connectivity," de la Peña said.

The DOST chief said the prototype receiver is low-cost and can be plugged in a computer to receive digital TV signals and embedded files.

Also in line with the President Rodrigo Duterte's directive, de la Peña said the DOST- Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) is working on activities to operate an amateur TV station that can be deployed in remote areas.

PCIEERD’s role is to help develop the proposals to ensure they align with priorities, and monitor the projects during implementation, executive director Enrico Paringit told the PNA.

"PCIEERD also will see to it that the project outputs are utilized through crafting policy recommendations and coordination with relevant industry and other government agencies," Paringit added.

Among the activities, according to de la Peña, include setting up Community LTE (long-term evolution) Network in selected rural areas. This activity to be headed by ASTI will use the sub-gigahertz (sub-GHz) spectrum band and will leverage the use of off-the-shelf hardware and open-source LTE software.

"A Community LTE Network is a cellular base station that gives signal and mobile internet to cellular phones in far-flung or geographically isolated areas," Banzon explained, adding that a Community LTE Network is being run by its beneficiaries.

Banzon continued that since this will use the LTE, the internet can also be provided and not just voice and data. "This can be configured using TV frequency, he said. (PNA)