ABS-CBN, one of the largest televison networks in the Philippines, has launched its own Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) box that will allow digital TV signals to be received from television sets without ISDB-T tuners.

Dubbed as the “Mahiwagang Black Box” (mysterious black box), it offers not only its own in-house programming, but other digital tv signals from other television stations as well.

The availability of the box came right after the release of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for DTT in December last year by the National Telecommunications Commission.

ISDB-T, the digital TV standard from Japan, was chosen by the NTC back in 2013, after testing DVB-T. ISDB-T offered an emergency warning system that is seen to be vital for disaster management, hence the selection.

The country is now shifting to digital TV, and it’s analog TV system will be shut down in the future.

Other TV stations have yet to offer a similar digital TV box systems like ABS-CBN did.

TV brands such as Devant offers TV sets with ISDB-T tuners integrated, eliminating the need for a separate box.

There’s also USB-based ISDB-T tuners, if you know where to look at. Google knows particularly where they are.

Local brand Starmobile’s Engage 7 also has ISDB-T tuner, so far the first known Android device that can receive ISDB-T signals.

PROTIP: At least two local TV stations such as TV5 and GEM are known to broadcast in HD digitally.