#BanatReview: One News


Caution to the reader: You may notice deviations from the topic indicated in the title and unnecessary side notes. This is done to present a narrative.

This blog site of mine has become stagnant in its activity as I have become busy with the real world (that is completing my requirements for my subjects, I’m now in 4th year and I was completing my internship over at EBC which I pretty enjoyed) and the lack of subjects to discuss.

With this very boring Sunday, I suddenly thought of making this review of Cignal Digital TV’s One News.

Let me share this, two weeks ago representatives from Cignal came over at our house and my mom told me they are there to install our connection. It took me by surprise as it was against my wishes as I was already content with our RCA Digital TV box with a Baron BRL Antenna as I’m able to enjoy our local channels in high definition (PTV 4, Net 25, and INC TV; more on this on my previous post if you have time to check it out), but somehow excited because I missed watching programs on pay TV since we had disconnected from our SKYcable connection in 2017 and decided to settle with digital free TV. At siyempre, ‘di na ako makakapalag kasi nanay ko na nag-desisyon at di naman ako ang magbabayad para doon, ‘di ba?

Oh, where was I? So, eto na. Naikabit na nila yung Cignal namin. As I was exploring the channel offerings (all channels are unlocked for a long time before they activate your plan, as in our case, Plan 490), I came across One News.

One News was launched last May 28 to replace Bloomberg TV Philippines (which has been relegated into a program block on the channel). This was launched to combine the resources of Bloomberg TV Philippines, News5, The Philippine Star, and BusinessWorld, all of which are owned by Mediaquest. I was familiar with it but only saw snippets of the channel through Jove Francisco’s IG stories, Facebook videos, and this SID, which makes the channel all the more promising.

And it indeed was. What I saw was a potential strong competitor to ANC which has been the leader for two decades. Although I disliked the datacast interface which I felt unpleasant as it obstructs the slick production value of the programs, its offerings are compelling.

Say anything you want against Shawn Yao but I must say Rush Hour is a pretty decent morning news program. I can also say that Agenda and The Chiefs are reminiscent of those pundit-hosted news shows seen on CNN and Fox News, and The Big Story makes a strong news program.

Although the channel’s programming is still dominated by taped programs and replays of its live programs, I believe over time the amount of live programming will increase due to demand, and I believe it will make a strong competitor to ANC, as long as MVP takes it seriously in pours in much resources. It must learn from the lessons of News5 which failed to seize on the momentum when given all the opportunities.

That said, I must say watching One News somehow made me appreciate our Cignal connection. Peace out, and have a safe week ahead.

High definition broadcast on digital free TV

We are five years shy of meeting the analog shutdown deadline, which means by that time a majority of the Philippine TV market would have migrated to digital terrestrial TV. While we’re at it (that is the transition stage), we will see how our television networks are faring in terms of delivering content.

As most of us know (at least the very basic knowledge, the more technical aspects we’ll leave to the professionals), our system ISDB-T adopted from Japan has the capacity to either deliver 8 standard definition multiplexes or 2 (in the case of state-owned PTV, three) high definition multiplexes.

Our television networks has already switched to HD-ready equipment? But in terms of broadcasting in the resolution? To put it mildly, we’re getting there.

Those broadcasting in full high definition at present are minor networks and religious broadcasters: CNN Philippines, PTV (PTV HD1 airs the main Channel 4, PTV HD2 airs reels from RTVM and the PCOO, PTV HD3 broadcasts Salaam TV and Lumad TV dedicated to the Moro and Lumad communities), Pastor Quiboloy’s SMNI News Channel, UNTV-BMPI’s Social TV and the MCGI-affiliated Truth Channel, Adventist-owned Hope Channel Philippines and GNN (which leases space on Hope Channel’s multipex), JIL’s Light TV (albeit upscaled), and the secular and religious-oriented channels of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC TV and NET25).

As for the major networks, ABS-CBN at present exclusively offers the HD versions of their main terrestrial channels (Channel 2 and S+A) and monetizes DTT through exclusive channels (that should change). TV5 meanwhile has HD channels through Colours, Hyper, PBA Rush, and One News, and that should mean they have the funds to fully switch to HD (most of their programs are now in the said format). As for GMA, much of their programs are now produced in full HD but insists on stretching them to 4:3 to benefit those still in CRT and disappoints some of the viewing public. But times are changing, and they haven’t much utilized their bandwidth yet, which gives them space to air in HD.

You might mistake this as an angalysta rant just like the others, but merely voicing out frustrations. But we may never know, as we’re still in the process of transition and there are more surprises in store for us.