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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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cable TV, entertainment, Philippines, television

Jeepney TV Displaces Fox Filipino on Destiny Cable

Jeepney TV will be seen on Destiny Cable beginning August 15, replacing Fox Filipino. (Photo credit: Destiny Cable)

Bad news to all throwback Kapuso fans subscribing to Destiny Cable.

Beginning August 15, Jeepney TV will be seen on Destiny Channel 9 for digital subscribers, and Channel 41 for analog subscribers. The channel will replace Fox Filipino, which will remain on Channel 41 on analog and Channel 211 on digital until August 14.

Jeepney TV is a cable TV channel owned by ABS-CBN subsidiary Creative Programs, Inc. The channel specializes on classic ABS-CBN programs dating from the ‘Star Network’ era to the present, as well as throwback movies and imported series that aired on ABS-CBN and its sister networks.

Jeepney TV’s main competitor is Fox Filipino, a channel owned by the Fox International Channels Philippines. The channel also specializes on throwback programming, but it mainly airs programs from ABS-CBN’s arch-rival GMA Network.

Logically, the addition of Jeepney TV and subsequent displacement of Fox Filipino only served to heighten the already heated rivalry between the two network giants. SkyCable and Destiny definitely has some clear intentions as to why they only want their lineup to be as Kapamilya-centric as possible.

Those who will be affected by the displacement of Fox Filipino may switch to Cignal, Dream Satellite, G Sat and Cablelink in order to continue enjoying the programs on the said channel.  In the meantime, classic Kapamilya programs will now be seen on Destiny Cable in a few weeks, so good luck with that.

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Goodbye Jack City, Hello CT

CT, the newest channel created by Solar Entertainment, was launched yesterday. (Logo courtesy of Solar Entertainment Corporation)

After nearly three years, Jack City officially signed off for the last time.

The one-time free TV sister station of Jack TV bade farewell to its loyal viewers last Saturday. But instead of a merger between Jack City and Jack TV, Solar Entertainment decided to keep the Jack TV branding and establish a different channel instead.

Thus, on Sunday, March 22, Solar launched CT on the channel formerly occupied by Jack City. The new channel shares some of the programming of its predecessor, but added comedy programs, talk shows and reality series in its lineup.

According to Solar Entertainment, CT is described as:

the hippest channel for urban adventurers who have the thirst for thought provoking and buzz worthy shows, blended with citified unscripted series that aims to match the urbanite lifestyle of our viewers, and complimented with urban blended sitcoms and a talk show that completes the entertainment needs of these contemporary individuals.”

Solar added that CT caters to “the tasteful market who enjoy great quality entertainment – day or night – by watching first rate, smart programs, direct from the U.S.” That said, CT’s audience is expected to remain dominated by young urban males, in the same manner as Jack City, while its programming is versatile enough to attract female viewers as well.

As mentioned earlier, CT will feature a number of drama series that were previously aired on Jack City. Thus, the ongoing seasons of series such as ‘Chicago Fire’, ‘Grimm’ and ‘Bones’ will continue to air on the new channel.

In addition, classic comedy programs such as ‘Friends’, ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘Will and Grace’ will be re-aired. And for fans of reality and talk shows, CT will also bring ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’, among others, to its lineup.

CT is currently available on the following channels:

  • SkyCable Channel 138
  • Destiny Cable Channel 64 (Analog) and 138 (Digital)
  • Cignal Channel 22
  • Cable Link Channel 40

Viewers can only hope that CT will stick much longer than its predecessor Jack City. If Solar can manage this channel well, the better it is for CT to thrive in the long run.

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live events, Philippines, Sports, television

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is on ABS-CBN Sports

This June 12, football enthusiasts will once again converge as the 2014 FIFA World Cup takes place in Brazil. The month-long tournament will feature 32 nations playing in 12 different cities, 16 of which will survive to play in the knockout rounds, a four-tiered stage that will determine the winner of the FIFA World Cup Trophy.

The Philippine broadcast rights for this year’s World Cup will be held by ABS-CBN Sports. Balls Channel (SkyCable Channel 34, Destiny Cable Channel 36) will show most live games, with several others airing on a delayed basis. The complete schedule can be seen below.

Schedules for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on the Balls Channel.

For football enthusiasts without cable subscription, ABS-CBN Sports+Action will show some of the games, both live and on a delayed basis. The list of the preliminary round matches on the network can be clicked on this link.

In addition, SkyCable will provide a season pass for every live World Cup game in high definition. The season pass costs P1999, and is only available to subscribers with an HD digibox.

The FIFA World Cup attracts millions of viewers from around the world, and this year’s edition is no exception. And while 2010 winner Spain and host nation Brazil will be among the favorites to win the Cup, this tournament is also expected to feature some surprising victories along the way, one that will see less favored nations make an upset or two that would captivate and shock football fans.

This year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil should be exciting to watch. And football fans can’t wait.

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