Media conglomerate ABS-CBN has started conducting test broadcasts on UHF 16, which would serve as their secondary digital terrestrial TV (DTT) channel for the meantime.
As previously reported, the broadcaster has announced that they will be launching five (5) channels on DTT, including two channels: Asianovela Channel and Movie Central.
According to the on-screen test card, the “free trial” is set to start on Monday, July 30, and will be available in Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, and Metro Cebu.
UHF 16, or 481.143 MHz for ABS-CBN TVplus boxes, uses the virtual number 02.XX, and its sub-channels immediately follow the current ABS-CBN DTT line-up.
As of the moment, UHF 16 contains the following channels:
02.01 – PROGRAM001
02.02 – PROGRAM002*
02.03 – PROGRAM003*
02.04 – PROGRAM004*
02.05 – PROGRAM005*
02.06 – RESERVED*
02.07 – PROGRAM007 ONESEG
Channel 02.02 to 02.06 are encrypted and can only be viewed using ABS-CBN TVplus or ABS-CBN TVplus Internet set-top boxes, which Channel 02.01 is unencrypted and can be viewed on any DTT set-top boxes.
Channel 02.07 is being flagged as a One-seg channel, but has no content.
All channels are broadcasting in Standard Definition, except for the One-seg channel.
National Telecommunications Commission has previously announced that the UHF channels 14-20 will be allocated to currently existing VHF channels, which includes ABS-CBN, GMA Network, The 5 Network, and government-owned People’s Television Network.
The UHF channels will be used as a single frequency network (SFN), which means that the networks allocated to the respective UHF channels can use them for DTT broadcasts nationwide.
At the moment, it is not yet known if the government agency would require the networks to vacate their test frequencies (e.g. ABS-CBN on UHF 43) if they use their respective allocated UHF frequencies.
Previously, the media conglomerate has used UHF 35 as its second test frequency, but it is not known if that partnership has now been discontinued.
UHF 35 is owned by Delta Broadcasting System, owned by El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde.