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ABS-CBN Continues Transition to HD

ABS-CBN officially launched its new HD channel last Saturday, part of a continuing transition to digital high definition television for the network. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

ABS-CBN’s conversion to high definition continues.

On Saturday, the network officially launched ABS-CBN HD, the first-ever HD free TV channel in the Philippines. It is currently available on Channel 167 for SkyCable and Destiny Cable subscribers, and Channel 700 for provincial subscribers.

Viewers with a high-definition digibox can enjoy some of ABS-CBN’s most popular programs in crystal clear HD. As of this article, only ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, ‘Wansapanatym’, ‘Ipaglaban Mo’, ‘ASAP’ and Kapamilya Gold and Primetime Bida teleseryes are currently shot with HD cameras, with other programming to follow suit.

ABS-CBN began to experiment with high definition television when it launched Balls HD in 2009. The channel’s launch coincided with the opening of UAAP Season 72, which became the first local event to be broadcast in high definition.

Two years later, ‘Budoy’ became the network’s first teleserye to be shot with HD cameras, which was then followed by the network’s other dramas. And just two weeks ago, ‘ASAP’ became the first non-drama program on the network to be shot with HD cameras.

All in all, ABS-CBN’s forays with high-definition and other technologies were signs that the network is seriously preparing for the conversion to digital television here in the Philippines. Not bad for the pioneering television network which was established in 1953.

With the launch of ABS-CBN HD, let’s just hope that in the near future, the other networks will follow suit. This will not be an easy task for the other local networks, but with digitization fast approaching, time is definitely of the essence.

Note: Balls HD, which formerly occupied Channel 167, is now assigned to Channel 195 for SkyCable and Destiny Cable subscribers, and Channel 701 for provincial subscribers. ABS-CBN HD can also be seen on iWanTV.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Hawak Kamay Replaces Dyesebel on ABS-CBN

Just as GMA is warming up with their value-oriented teleserye in ‘Nino’, ABS-CBN decides to counter with one of their own.

Enter ‘Hawak Kamay’, the Kapamilya network’s newest teleserye that is set to debut this Monday. The series, starring Piolo Pascual, Iza Calzado, Zaijan Jaranilla and Xyriel Manabat, Andrea Brillantes and Yesha Camille, will replace ‘Dyesebel’.

The Anne Curtis-starred series has been a ratings winner since it debuted on March 17. ‘Dyesebel’ defeated rivals ‘Kambal Sirena’ and ‘Nino’ during its five-month run.

In ‘Hawak Kamay’, Pascual plays a frustrated musician turned guardian named Gin. He was tasked to take care of three orphans named Emong (Jaranilla), Dara (Manabat) and Ningning (Camille), who lost their parents in a car crash.

Throughout the series, Gin would evolve from a reluctant to a responsible guardian who is determined to keep all of his orphans together, despite enduring serious trials. Along the way, Gin’s life would change with the help of Bianca (Calzado), a lawyer who helped arrange the adoption, and her sister Lorrie (Brillantes), who would develop a friendship with the three orphans.

‘Hawak Kamay’ is named after the popular song recorded by Yeng Constantino in the late 2000s. The song was remade by Piolo Pascual specifically for the series.

ABS-CBN is no stranger to producing successful value-oriented series. After all, they produced winners in ‘May Bukas Pa’, ‘100 Days to Heaven’, ‘Budoy’ and Honesto’, all of which earned high ratings and critical acclaim. The success of these teleseryes should add some pressure on ‘Hawak Kamay’, but considering the network has been winning the primetime race of late, it should not pose a problem to the new series.

‘Hawak Kamay’ premieres this July 21, after ‘TV Patrol’. The teaser to the upcoming series can be viewed below.

Notes: From the Tube would like to extend our condolences to the victims of Typhoon Glenda and Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 17. Our thoughts and prayers are for the families of the said victims.

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GMA Telebabad Concedes to ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida

This past week ‘Genesis’ and ‘Akin Pa Rin ang Bukas’ officially aired their final episodes. However, with production still in the works for ‘Carmela’, ‘Rhodora X’ and ‘Kambal Sirena’, GMA Telebabad decided to fill in the void with ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’.

As it turned out, it was clear that GMA Telebabad is conceding to ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida. The last few years saw Primetime Bida dominate Telebabad in the ratings, helped by hit teleseryes such as ‘Budoy’, ‘Walang Hanggan’, ‘Princess and I’, ‘Juan dela Cruz’ and current favorites ‘Honesto’, ‘Got to Believe’ and ‘Maria Mercedes’. ABS-CBN was also successful in marketing younger talents, something GMA could not afford to do.

In addition, due to mounting operational losses GMA began to adopt the TV5 way by airing more Tagalized foreign films. This was none more evident than in ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’. But unlike the typical Tagalog-dubbed films on other blocks, KPC airs movies voiced by Kapuso talents, perhaps to add to their talent fees. To me, this movie block became a clear picture of GMA’s concession of defeat to ABS-CBN.

Despite that, ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ will only be a temporary showcase, as the aforementioned ‘Carmela’, ‘Rhodora X’ and ‘Kambal Sirena’ will debut in the coming weeks. But even as GMA unveils a new slogan called ‘Puso ang Una’ in hopes of regaining the top spot, I expect ABS-CBN to overwhelm GMA once again on primetime.

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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.

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