MANILA -- ABS-CBN rolled out its TVplus units in compliance with the Philippine government's mandate to shift to digital from analog broadcasting, President and CEO Carlo Katigbak told a congressional hearing Thursday.
Introducing the widely popular digital box, known as a set-top box, is among the issues raised by the shuttered broadcast network's critics to block its application for a new 25-year operating franchise.
Katigbak cited the government directive to "migrate" to digital TV broadcasting, which is set to be completed by 2023.
"We secured prior approval for the test broadcast for our TVplus boxes," he told congressmen.
The digital black boxes allow buyers to experience better TV quality by moving away from analog signal.
But the Federation of International Cable TV and Telecommunications Association of the Philippines (FICTAP) accused ABS-CBN of "killing" the cable TV industry by introducing the set-top box.
The digital units include a pay-per-view channel called Kapamilya Box Office, which was allowed under ABS-CBN's old franchise, the justice department told a Senate hearing last February.
Katigbak told lawmakers TVPlus units continued to offer free channels.
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