entertainment, Philippines, television

HD on Philippine Television

The widescreen HD version of the MTRCB Parental Guidance advisory. Note the letterboxes on the top and bottom of the screenshot.

High-definition television in the Philippines is a virtually novel concept. This new medium in television broadcast gives viewers a wider and clearer resolution that what standard-definition provides. A high-definition broadcast necessitates the use of flat-screen television sets, which are more spacious and less bulkier than a standard television set.

HDTV was given a test run in the United States and Europe in the 1990s, but it was not until the late 2000s when virtually all television broadcasts in the Atlantic started to air in HD. In the Philippines, ABS-CBN subsidiary SkyCable launched its HD service to its customers in 2009. That same year, the mother network began broadcasting UAAP‘s 72nd season in HD, marking the first high-definition television broadcast in the Philippines. In the years that followed, ABS-CBN began to shoot its teleseryes with HD cameras, beginning with 2011’s ‘Budoy‘.

This year, ABS-CBN’s popular kiligserye ‘Be Careful with My Heart‘ is just one of several Kapamilya drama series being shot with HD cameras. In addition, they are also shooting ‘Juan Dela Cruz‘, ‘Muling Buksan ang Puso’, ‘Dugong Buhay’, and ‘My Little Juan’ in HD. In June, TV5 began to shoot its teleseryes in HD, starting with ‘Misibis Bay’ followed by ‘Undercover’. However, at the moment GMA has yet to divulge any plan of broadcasting their teleseryes with the use of high definition cameras.

This is a welcome development in the history of Philippine television, however it may take several years before the Philippines makes its full transition to high definition television. This year was the first step, however.


3 thoughts on “HD on Philippine Television

  1. yong says:

    GMA has been filming and editing teleseryes in HD since 2014, starting with Carmela and Rhodora X, both premiered with The Legal Wife (I don’t have a proof, but I know Rhodora X showed a hint in one of its episodes). If you don’t believe me, check out Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real and The Half Sisters (also both produced in 2014) on iflix, they have the widescreen copy there, since GMA has been showing them on TV doing the “pan and scan”, maybe, to avoid letterboxes.

      • Yes I admit that GMA is already using HD cameras for their shows nowadays. But their ‘pan-and-scan’ approach made me believe that they’re still using SD cameras. This was before iFlix came into the picture, if you know what I mean.

        Regarding their use of ‘pan-and-scan’, while it does eliminate letterboxes, it still eliminates other necessary details. Encantadia, for instance, cut some important scenery and people when aired on TV. Besides, with so many houses purchasing LED TVs with HD capabilities, GMA’s ‘pan-and-scan’ approach becomes increasingly obsolete in this day and age.

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