Cignal HD Receiver

Cignal HD Receiver

Last month, I wrote about Cignal Digital TV’s launch in Davao. Thanks to a Cignal HD voucher (free satellite dish, HD receiver, and free MSF for 3 months) which I got from Andrew, I am now subscribed to Cignal’s HD combo package at Php1,290/month.  That’s 21 standard definition (SD) digital channels plus 8 high definition (HD) channels.

After three days of being subscribed to Cignal TV, here are my thoughts:

  • Being completely digital, you get program information like movie title, program synopsis, and screening time when you view a specific channel like HBO HD. There’s also a “What’s On” feature where you can see the program offerings from your favorite channels playing right that very moment — imagine a channel and program guide displayed in real time on your TV.
  • You can also set your HD receiver (also called set-top-box) to automatically go to a specific channel on a specific time to make sure you don’t miss your favorite shows or movies.
  • The favorites feature is very handy as it lets you bookmark your favorite channels.
  • Parents who want more control over what their kids watch on TV are now empowered with Cignal’s Parental Control feature. Channels not suitable for children can now be locked.
  • Cignal’s current channel line-up is acceptable but could use more variety. ANC, Discovery HD, and JackTV would be nice additions.
  • HD channels are good enough but not at par with the picture quality of my Popcorn Hour HD media streamer. HBO HD, Histrory HD, and National Geographic HD all look good but needs more contrast and sharpness.
  • Digitally-enhanced HD channels like Sony, ESPN, and Star Sports are too soft to be considered HD. I understand these channels are SD channels upconverted to HD, perhaps Cignal’s technical people can adjust the settings to improve the picture quality to HD standards.
  • The Cignal logo plastered in every channel is a bit distracting. Maybe they can make it less obtrusive by making it transparent like National Geographics HD’s logo.
  • Sometimes the audio-video sync is off by a few milliseconds. There’s an option to change the audio delay in the settings menu but the options are pretty limited.

Nevertheless, I still find my Cignal SD-HD combo subscription worth the money considering they offer the most number of HD channels in the country. They also offer pay-per-view programs like Pacquiao fights at competitive prices. Cignal Digital TV is a new entrant in the direct-to-home pay television industry so I guess there’s a lot of room for improvement in terms of channel offerings and quality.

National Geographic HD

National Geographic HD

HBO HD

HBO HD

CNN Standard Definition (SD)

CNN Standard Definition (SD)

Channel Information

Channel Information