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Philippine push for all-digital TV becomes blessing and burden

Switch sparks flurry of business but 5% of households likely to be left out

An electronics store in Metro Manila: Many families still own cathode-ray sets.   © Reuters

MANILA -- The Philippines is stepping up a nationwide shift to digital terrestrial broadcasting, stirring excitement about new business opportunities but also concern for families that cannot afford to upgrade their old TVs.

The plan is to go all digital by 2023 with support from Japan, which convinced the Philippine government to adopt its technology. ABS-CBN, the Philippines' top commercial TV network, launched a digital service in 2015 and now national broadcaster People's Television Network is rushing to catch up. 

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