digital television, entertainment, Philippines, television

By Popular Demand: ABS-CBN TVPlus Adds New Channels

Take it away, Coco Martin.

The ‘Ang Probinsyano’ star (along with Sarah Geronimo) has been the face of the ABS-CBN TVPlus commercials since the device made its public debut three years earlier. And after selling over five million units, viewers and purchasers will get a little more bang for their buck thanks to new exclusive channels that TVPlus launched last Monday.

The five new channels are as follows:

O Shopping

The only permanent addition to the list, O Shopping is a home TV shopping channel that resulted from a joint venture between ABS-CBN and CJ ENM Company Limited. The channel was launched in 2013 and has since made its presence felt across various media.

Aside from its current place on TVPlus Channel 8, O Shopping can still be seen on ABS-CBN (Channel 1 on TVPlus), Yey! (Channel 4 on TVPlus) and Knowledge Channel (Channel 5 on TVPlus) during the late-night hours. In addition, O Shopping can be seen on BEAM as one of its subchannels.

Asianovela Channel

As the name suggests, this channel currently airs Asian dramas and movies dubbed in Filipino and uncut. The Asianovela Channel can be accessed on TVPlus Channel 9.

Some of the programs aired on the Asianovela Channel were also previously broadcast on ABS-CBN as part of the First and True Home of Asianovelas block. The channel also introduces some never-before-aired series as well, albeit infrequently.

Movie Central

For those who want to see Hollywood films aired in its original English language, Movie Central is the place to watch. The channel is currently found on TVPlus Channel 10.

Movie Central airs a wide variety of genres, ranging from action, comedy, drama, romance to suspense, animation, adventure and sci-fi flicks. It is the digital TV equivalent to HBO and Fox Movies on cable.

Jeepney TV

Originally seen exclusively on SkyCable since 2012, Jeepney TV will now be accessed on TVPlus as well. Jeepney TV can be seen on TVPlus Channel 11.

The channel is home to ABS-CBN’s classic programs that viewers can relive over and over again. It also airs more recent episodes of ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs programs by demand.

MYX

Another SkyCable exclusive channel, MYX was originally introduced to TVPlus as a blocktimer on the Kapamilya Box Office platform (TVPlus Channel 7). Now it can be seen 24/7 on TVPlus Channel 12.

MYX is a music channel that airs local and foreign music videos past and present. It also broadcasts non-music programs that showcase the latest trends in pop culture.

With the exception of O Shopping, the other four channels will be seen on a free trial basis until December 31, 2018. In addition, these five new channels will be available only to viewers in Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Metro Cebu, with a few other areas to be rolled out soon.

Regarding the future of these new channels, it will be up to ABS-CBN management to decide the next course of action. For now, enjoy the latest additions that ABS-CBN TVPlus can offer.

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digital television, entertainment, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, Sports, television

ABS-CBN TVPlus Sales Reach 5 Million Units

Five million and counting.

ABS-CBN announced this week that sales of the groundbreaking ABS-CBN TVPlus black box has reached the 5-million mark. This will put the network on track to meet the six-million sales target by the end of the year.

The steady growth of ABS-CBN TVPlus can be attributed to its low price, availability of several digital-exclusive TV channels and clearer picture quality. The boxes only cost P1499 and with a corresponding ABS-CBN Mobile SIM card, consumers can access exclusive ABS-CBN digital channels in CineMo, Yey!, Knowledge Channel, DZMM TeleRadyo and Kapamilya Box Office (KBO).

While ABS-CBN TVPlus is mainly used at home, some public and private vehicle owners have also invested on the device to improve picture quality in their TV screens while on the go. Although ABS-CBN discourages the use of TVPlus in automobiles, it did not stop vehicle owners from trying to improve the viewing experience of riders.

TVPlus is currently available in 15 key locations, mainly concentrating in the Greater Manila Area, Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Benguet and Pangasinan. ABS-CBN is also looking to expand the current coverage area that TVPlus encompasses, with the announcement coming in the near future.

ABS-CBN also launched a new generation TVPlus box that is only available in Cebu and Davao. Sold for P2999, it now comes with a wifi stick that will enable customers to access the internet through ABS-CBN Mobile.

So far, the lack of competition in the digital TV sector has enabled ABS-CBN TVPlus to pull away in terms of sales. However, rivals GMA Network and Solar Entertainment are currently in the process of creating their own digital devices, which means that in a few years, one expect a dogfight between the three broadcast giants and their digital TV offerings.

For more information on ABS-CBN TVPlus, click this highlighted link.

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business, digital television, Philippines, television

TVplus Sells 2 Million Units, Plus GMA Continues DTT Preparations

A cheaper price tag of P1499 and the expansion to other key areas in the country has helped ABS-CBN TVplus reach the two million mark. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

A cheaper price tag of P1499 and the expansion to other key areas in the country helped ABS-CBN TVplus reach the two million mark. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

The ABS-CBN TVplus black box continues to sell like pancakes.

Parent company ABS-CBN recently announced that the sale of the TVplus box has reached two million units, thus surpassing its year-end target. The swift rise in sales was helped by the product’s cheaper price tag of P1499 (originally P2500, then P1999), as well as national expansion to key regions in the country.

ABS-CBN CEO and president Carlo Katigbak shared his enthusiasm for the TVplus box. According to Katigbak,

ABS-CBN TVplus continues to improve the Filipino’s viewing experience though digital quality broadcast and a transformative entertainment experience by offering more choices of channels and even opportunities to watch special TV events, greatly supporting our mission to serve the Filipino people.

Launched in February 2015, ABS-CBN TVplus carries a select number of major free TV networks, including ABS-CBN and S+A. It also carries ABS-CBN’s exclusive digital channels Yey!, CineMo, Knowledge Channel, and DZMM TeleRadyo, as well as pay-per-view channel Kapamilya Box Office (KBO).

Meanwhile, rival network GMA continues its planned transition to digital television. The network revealed that it plans to invest P416 million on transmitter facilities to aid in the migration process.

Previously, GMA announced its plan to invest P1.5 billion on digital equipment, which was lower than the P3 billion that ABS-CBN spends for its own digital migration. GMA also unveiled a prototype of its upcoming digital television product, which is expected to combine the capabilities of a digital receiver and a set-top box.

While ABS-CBN continues to make strides in the development of its digital television arm, it is clear that GMA is taking things slow. Considering that the Kapuso network has had a history of questionable investments and a poor management reputation, Felipe Gozon’s ‘conservative’ approach may be the hopeful solution for now.

Still, with the target towards shutdown of analog broadcasts in 2019 within reach, GMA may not have enough time to deal with the impending migration. Sooner or later, the Kapuso network must act now, otherwise every household may end up with an ABS-CBN TVplus box, leaving GMA with little room to grow.

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education, Philippines, television

1995 Flashback: The Boom of Educational TV Shows

Led by the award-winning ‘SineSkwela’, educational programs in the Philippines received a big boost in 1995. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

1995 was a memorable year in Philippine television. As part of a year-long special, From the Tube will look back at a year full of historical debuts, unforgettable moments, and celebrated feats in the history of television in the country.

It’s back to school for students across the Philippines.

School year 2015-16 is now underway in every public school in the country, with private institutions starting theirs the week after. For big-name tertiary schools such as UP, Ateneo, La Salle and UST, opening of classes would come a few months later, as part of their alignment with the academic calendars of other countries.

Back in school year 1995-96, a surge in educational TV programs took place. The said school year saw the establishment of two different series of educational programs: ABS-CBN’s ETV (Educational Television), and PTV-4’s CONSTEL (Continuing Education via Television).

ABS-CBN’s ETV series initially consisted of the following programs:

SineSkwela – the flagship program of the ETV series which tackles a variety of topics related to elementary science, health and technology.

Hiraya Manawari – focuses on fantasy stories with lessons on good values and morals.

Bayani – discusses historic Filipino heroes through a dramatic retelling of their struggles and triumphs.

The ETV series introduced three other programs a few years later, consisting of:

Math-Tinik – features lessons related to elementary mathematics.

Epol/Apple – examines the proper use of elementary English in everyday conversations.

Pahina – analyzes classical Filipino literature through dramatization of said stories.

The ETV series initially aired on ABS-CBN during weekday mornings for much of the mid-90s. The debut of Knowledge Channel in 1999 soon prompted the network to move the ETV programs to the said channel, leading to a change in ABS-CBN’s early-morning landscape that remains to this day.

The ETV programs also aired on Studio 23 (now ABS-CBN Sports+Action). Videotapes and DVDs of the said programs were also sold and donated to schools through ABS-CBN Foundation.

Meanwhile, PTV-4’s CONSTEL series consisted of the following programs:

Science Made Easy – a telecourse for elementary students that features lessons on basic science.

Chemistry in Action – a telecourse for high school students that features lessons on chemistry.

Physics in Everyday Life – a telecourse for college students that features lessons on physics.

CONSTEL English – introduced a few years later, the series was a telecourse for high school students that features lesson on English language and grammar.

PTV-4’s CONSTEL series was produced by the network in cooperation with what is now the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Foundation for the Upgrading of Standards in Education (FUSE). The series continues to air on a sporadic basis, even during the time PTV-4 was known as NBN under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The CONSTEL series was also picked up by Knowledge Channel and is currently airing on a recurring basis.

While ‘Fun with Math’ was also introduced around this time, it was not considered part of the CONSTEL series. Nevertheless, the program served a similar purpose in promoting education through television.

The resurgence of educational TV programs was a big moment in Philippine television in 1995. Today, these programs continue to benefit teachers in any way possible, and influence a young generation of students everywhere.

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country, news, Philippines, politics

Ninoy: The Heart & the Soul

Throughout the week of August 21, government stations PTV-4 and IBC-13 air classic documentaries commemorating the life, the struggles, and the legacy of Benigno Aquino Jr. One of these documentaries has been regarded as a masterpiece.

Ninoy: The Heart & the Soul was first aired on the fifth death anniversary of Aquino. The documentary was written by the late columnist Teodoro Benigno, and was narrated by the late news anchor Jose Mari Velez. Two versions of the documentary exist: one narrated in English, and the other in Filipino. The documentary gives viewers a look back at the career and life of Ninoy; from his rise as a political wonder boy, to his incarceration in Fort Bonifacio and Laur, Nueva Ecija during Martial Law, and eventually to his exile and assassination. A part of the documentary was focused on Ninoy’s solitary prison at Laur, giving viewers a glimpse on what his prison looked like. Other important segments of the documentary include Ninoy’s diary, his hunger strike, and the Aquino family’s efforts to visit and provide moral support to their imprisoned relative.

The documentary runs for 90 minutes. However, an edited 30-minute version also exists, and is aired on Knowledge Channel during the week. Here are the English and Filipino versions of the 90-minute documentary, shown in its entirety.

Ninoy: The Heart & the Soul (English version)

Puso at Diwa ni Ninoy (Filipino version)

About the only difference in the two versions other than the language used is Velez’s attire, where he wore a suit on the English narration, and a Barong Tagalog on the Filipino narration. Nevertheless, both versions of the documentary were informative and historically important, especially during the week of Ninoy’s assassination, and during the week of the EDSA People Power Revolution anniversary.

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