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HDTV Davao Region

2011 November 20
by Randy C

Cingal HD596 HDTV Davao Region

I don’t watch a lot of television. Some sports, an occasional movie, but mostly not very much. So what’s available in that regard there in the Davao region has never been a major concern of mine. That doesn’t mean I haven’t looked into it though.

When I do watch TV, I only watch High Def channels. One might say I’m spoiled. I’m not going to argue the fact, but after watching HDTV for the last 7 years or so, it actually gives me a headache to watch standard definition for any length of time. That’s why I found it encouraging to see that HDTV is available in Davao, and to some degree possibly Samal now.

I’ve owned a 50″ Samsung HDTV for those past seven years. That setup, along with the home theater system, is not coming with me to the Philippines. Too big, too old, too expensive to ship, wrong voltage, etc. No, I’ll get by with something much smaller, but still HDTV I suppose. I’ll look at my options for content based on our needs.

One company that caught my eye during my visit was Cignal Digital TV (complicated but they are part of PLDT). Cignal is very similar in function to DirecTV or Dish Network here in the States. They use a dish, pointed to the right location, and it just needs a clear line of site for reception. This is great for Samal Island, as that is the exact kind of set up you need in a remote location. I didn’t ask if they are installing on Samal, but if they aren’t I would have to guess they would be soon.

Cignal offers many different packages, with the basic one costing P250 (lang) per month. That one doesn’t include HD though, you need to move up to the P590 to get a couple of channels of HD thrown in. To get all nine of the HD channels they offer – HBO HD, STAR Movies HD, National Geographic Channel HD, History HD, Discovery HD, STAR World HD, Food Network Asia HD, ESPN HD, NBA Premium TV HD – you’ll need to put out P1290 a month. The upper two packages include free equipment, so that’s a bonus. They also have a tenth PPV HD channel, so you can watch Manny in HD if you are willing to pony up the additional fee.

Their main competition appears to be SKYCable. This is your standard cable offering, not a dish setup. The prices are pretty similar between the two. SKYCable has about three more HD channels – Discovery HD World, History Channel HD, National Geographic Channel HD, HBO HD, HBO Hits HD, STAR Movies HD, FOX Family Movies HD, STAR World HD, Fox Channel HD, Fox Crime HD, NBA Premium TV HD, ESPN HD, and the HD PPV, but they handle the packages differently. There are a few bundles of HD channels for various prices that are “add ons” to the normal packages. That’s what makes it somewhat difficult to compare pricing between them an Cignal. SKYCable standard (non HD) packages start at P280. Depending upon your wants and needs, you might be better served with one or the other.

I would imagine, much as the way it happened here, the number of HD channels will continue to increase whereas in the future virtually all channels will have a HD equivalent, if not just HD. Regardless, I feel that it’s a pretty good start. ESPN in HD is good enough for me, not that I really know how ESPN differs from what they show here. I’ll need to look into that sometime.

Comparatively you can get either product much cheaper than what you might pay here. The total number of channels is much less, but how many of the 200+ channels do people really watch? The most expensive Cignal package comes in about $30 US (at todays rate). I can only get the most basic package here for that price. No ESPN, and the only HD are the local channels.

For those television watchers around Davao (and Samal hopefully), things are looking pretty good.

Related posts:
  1. Davao Region as Retirement Haven
  2. Blu-ray Movies in the Philippines
  3. NBA is King
  4. Samal-Davao Bridge
  5. Still Thinking About Internet in Davao

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Lyn permalink
    November 25, 2011

    Actually, I used to watch TV before (but not much) on limited channels only as our location is a little bit far from downtown area. The reception is very poor and could access to two channels only. Maybe those were the reasons why do not like to watch TV plus our unit is too old and the antenna is not good.

    Resently got a new Samsung unit and bought quality antenna. Seems to love watching TV at the moment as the reception is very clear and sharp, not cloudy anymore.

    The very good friend of mine says one of our channels on TV is of “High Def”. Actually I could not relate of what it is…

    Your article explain a lot why must be very thankful with your post this week. Great ideas!

    • November 25, 2011

      I am not familiar with how many OTA channels are available in the Davao area. If it is like here, it is dependent upon how close you are to the towers, and the kind of antenna one has.

      I am also not sure if there are in fact HD channels OTA there. I would imagine if not that there will be soon, Things are moving in that direction.

      Glad my article was of help.

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