While COVID and the ensuing restrictions tended to mess with production schedules for their programming and content, in a way the pandemic may have helped some television networks to evolve and offer new services. Back in June last year, GMA7 introduced the Affordabox, a set-top box offering digital reception of the Kapuso network plus several other free-to-view digital side channels, using the Japanese ISDB-T digital broadcasting format. The fact that the GMA Affordabox could also record TV programming for later viewing, play multimedia and receive emergency warnings, was also a big plus. Perhaps the system’s only drawback was that it needed to be connected to a television set at home.
But as GMA News reports, the Kapuso network has been preparing something else in the Affordabox vein that loyal viewers can use even on the go. Digital terrestrial television (DTT) receivers like the aforementioned GM Affordabox have been around for years now, and therefore has developed enough that mobile versions of the system are available. This is what GMA Network is offering next: a digital antenna that can be attached to mobile devices like smartphones to receive digital signals from the Kapuso network’s many channels. They call it “GMA Now.”
GMA Now was introduced by GMA Network in a media conference this Thursday, February 4. The media giant’s president and COO for New Media, Augusto Cariahan, says that this easy-attach mobile DTT receiver will surely influence how Filipinos consume local television programming even outside the home. The GMA Now receiver looks like a micro-USB dongle that plugs into the data/charging port of any Android device. Now that device can be used to watch the same channels the Affordabox offers for larger TVs: digital GMA7, News TV, Heart of Asia and Hallypop. Users can also access exclusive on-demand content, join interactive promos, and even connect with fellow GMA Now users or Kapuso celebrities via Groupee Chat.
Priced at P649 per unit, GMA Now has been available for purchase online at the official GMA Store, Shopee and Lazada since December 2020. Service will start becoming available in Metro Manila, Region IV-A CALABARZON, the provinces of Pangasinan, Pampanga and Bulacan, and the cities of Metro Cebu, Davao and Cagayan de Oro. But GMA New Media Senior VP Evert Miranda assures that the signal coverage will expand as the system improves. The formal product launch for GMA Now however will be Sunday, February 7.
Images: NoypiGeekscom and GMA Network