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GMA Affordabox vs ABS-CBN TVplus: Which one to get?




A few days ago, GMA Affordabox’s Digital TV Receiver was launched online through the network’s Lazmall and Shopee Mall. ABS-CBN, meanwhile, released its own TVplus five years ago. The sudden rise of the set-top boxes for TVs is part of the local broadcasting network’s compliance with the NTC’s switch of terrestrial television from analog to digital.  Although both provide digital signals to previous or outdated TV models, some things separate both devices from one another. So, which one should you get? Is it the newer GMA Affordabox Digital TV Receiver or the ABS-CBN TVplus? Read on to find out.

Author’s note: Specs listed for both models are based on the unit stated on their official website and listing as of writing.

GMA AffordaboxABS-CBN TVplus
Digital displayDigital display
Info DisplayInfo Display
--Info Plus feature for job posting, traffic updates, price patrol, weather forecasts, and general advisories
Auto-On Alert Feature--
RCA and HDMI-readyRCA-ready, (HDMI model phased-out)
AC plugAC plug
Indoor antennaAlternative antenna
Multimedia player --
Personal Video Recorder--
Free TV channels on digital transmissionFree TV channels on digital transmission
GMA, GMA NEWS TV, Heart of AsiaDZMM Teleradyo, CINEMO!, YEY, KNOWLEDGE, Myx, Asianovela Channel, O Shopping, Movie Central, Jeepney TV
Metro Manila, Benguet, La Union, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, Rizal, Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur, and Davao del NorteMetro Manila, Metro Cebu, Batangas, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Laguna, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Benguet, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Rizal, Davao, Cavite
Compatible with TVs with AV input, smart TVsCompatible with TVs with AV input, smart TVs
with remote control with remote control
1 x USB-A port1 x USB-A port
1 year service warranty1 year service warranty
--Gets regular software updates
Lazada, ShopeePartner stores, Lazada, Shopee

Summary of advantages

GMA Affordabox:
• More affordable
• Slightly covers more areas
• With HDMI port
• Records shows under GMA channels

ABS-CBN TVplus:
• More exclusive channels to offer
• Gets regular software updates
• Availability in online and offline stores
• Info Plus feature for general advisories

Design and Hardware

When it comes to design, the ABS-CBN TVplus looks more compact with a curved squarish body and tactile channel and power buttons on top. There’s an LED indicator on the front, as well as the ABS-CBN TVplus logo on the right. Simply known as the black box, it comes with a 5-meter alternative antenna for receiving signals, remote control for easier navigation of channels, power adapter, and a user’s guide. At the back is an RCA port, a USB-A port for updating software on service centers, an AC jack, and a 100V-240V port for a power supply.

There were listings of TVplus models with HDMI. However, based on ABS-CBN’s website, the models being offered now are RCA models.

UPDATE: According to ABS-CBN, the TVplus with the HDMI port model is already phased out.


Meanwhile, the GMA Affordabox Digital TV Receiver has a glossy rectangular body with a grille on top. It has the power button, along with the channel keys, on the left. On its opposite side is the GMA Affordabox logo printed in white with the USB-A port below. In the middle are the LED display and the sensor for the remote control. In terms of connectivity, GMA offers more with the HDMI, AC, and RCA ports on the rear part of the box.

Area coverage

Apart from Metro Manila, the ABS-CBN TVplus and the GMA Affordabox covers some of the key provinces in Northern Luzon and Southern Mindanao. The GMA Affordabox covers the following 19 locations (as of writing): NCR, Benguet, La Union, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, Rizal, Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur, and Davao del Norte. ABS-CBN TVplus, on the other hand, currently lists 16 provinces, replacing Leyte, Quezon, Bohol, and La Union with Iloilo, Bacolod, and Cagayan de Oro.

Channels

Even though both TV boxes offer free digital TV channels, ABS-CBN has more exclusive channels to offer than GMA. The former has a total of nine exclusive channels which includes music channel Myx, O Shopping for home TV shopping, Jeepney TV for previous entertainment and lifestyle Kapamilya programs, all-day classic movie channel CineMo!, DZMM Teleradyo for news and current affairs programs, Knowledge Channel for educational content, YEY for kid-friendly shows and cartoons, Movie Central for Hollywood films, and Asianovela Channel for dubbed Asian dramas. Do note that exclusive channels may vary per area.

The GMA Affordabox offers three Kapuso channels: its main channel GMA, GMA NEWS TV for news and current affairs programs, and Heart of Asia for Tagalized version of hit Asian TV series previously aired on the network.

Special features

The Kapamilya and Kapuso TV boxes have a fair share of unique features. But for this category, GMA Affordabox takes over with the Personal Video Recorder for recording and watching programs from the exclusive Kapuso channels. It also serves as a multimedia player for viewing photos, videos, and music via USB and comes with support for the nationwide emergency warning broadcast system and functional auto-on alert for notification. Program schedules, as well as other important information on shows you are watching, can be seen through the info display. GMA hasn’t confirmed yet any incoming software updates and patches for the Affordabox since it is still entirely new to the market.

In contrast, ABS-CBN’s TVplus sports an Info Plus feature for job postings, traffic updates, price patrol, weather forecasts, and general advisories. Currently, the digital bulletin board presents COVID-19-related data. It also comes with support on NTC’s nationwide emergency warning broadcast system and gets regular software updates.

To ensure that the devices work properly, both come with a year service warranty.

Price and availability

Priced at PHP 888, the GMA Affordabox DTV Receiver is now available in official stores of GMA in Lazada and Shopee. As for the ABS-CBN TVplus, customers may have it delivered to their doorsteps via authorized dealers on Lazada and Shopee, offline partner retailers, and ABS-CBN TVplus website. It retails for PHP 1,499, which is PHP 611 more compared to the Affordabox.

Which Digital TV Receiver should you get?
Let’s make things simple. If you need an all-in-one TV box with special features such as HDMI connectivity and program video recording out of the box, then go for GMA’s Affordabox. Although affordable, keep in mind that it offers less exclusive content compared to ABS-CBN’s TVplus. For those who want to experience more digital content for free and keep up on the latest advisories in one glance, then the ABS-CBN’s TVplus is for you.



Jewel is a Multimedia Producer for YugaTech. She's a writer by day and a cinephile by night.

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25 Responses

  1. HL says:

    May TV Plus din na may HDMI port

  2. K L says:

    Nag rereset po ba ng last channel after powering down?

  3. I will prepare the Afordabox dahil it is future proof as of Japan dogital braodcast standard, ISDBT digital receiver, while the TV Plus is not ISDBT.

  4. Edwin Uy says:

    This is misleading. TV Plus has HDMI output

  5. Reader says:

    Wag magpakalat ng fake news, Nelson. ISDB-T compatible ang TVPlus. ISDB-T lang ang sole standard ng digital TV sa Pilipinas. Sa facts lang tayo, wag maging network war fanatic. :)

  6. jobert_sucaldito says:

    I saw a lot of abs cbn’s tv plus at handyman at xentro mall in lemery, batangas. A ton of them, no one is buying.

  7. JAYBEE says:

    TV plus is ISDB-T.

  8. jaybee says:

    kulang sa pag research ang writer na ito. di lang 16 sa TV plus mas madami pa kaysa gma7 tapos may HDMI din ang tv plus unless ung ang tinutukoy mo eh ung 1st gen na nilabas noong 2016 i think

  9. Ledor says:

    I will buy any of them who can have coverage in Roxas City.

  10. Nilo Ong says:

    Why don’t you feature also the difference between Solar’s EASYTV tv box that cost P2,500 and yearly subscription of P999.00 only but with a lot channels broadcasted by Solar Entertainment that you can only watch on cable tv including the regular free-to-air channels. And the EVPAD tv box for a one time fee of more or less P7,000 and operates on Wi-Fi broadband connection where you can watch any tv programs all over the world, just click on the country you want to watch and choose the channel or you can watch YouTube or other media platforms available in the internet and in the EVPAD and Presto, you have a smart tv instantly.

  11. yahj says:

    sa affordabox ng GMA specially sa ads nila, in compliant daw sila sa NTC as they say that the 3 channels nila (GMA,GMANTV,HeartOfAsia) had their franchises separately, false advertisement
    TVPlus phased out the Gen3 model (the HDMI one-which is meron at ginagamit ko pa rin hanggang ngaun) is because not all TV can support HD, and the transmission bandwidth for the HD signal is very high compare to regular SD digital signals. HD signals can be obtained thru cable providers only.

  12. IPTV for You says:

    The Solar EasyTV box was discontinued last September 2019. And as for the TVPlus with an HDMI port, don’t get readers’ hopes up, you will only be able to buy a second-hand unit as ABS-CBN phased it out.

    The EVPad meanwhile, is a pirate IPTV streamer.

  13. Kistni says:

    Isn’t the EasyTV box from Solar already discontinued? Why feature it now when it’s no longer available? As for the EVPAD, my understanding is that it’s similar to the Mi Box in that an internet connection is required in order to watch channels.

  14. Rhoda says:

    kapuso ako eversince.. pero nanonood din ako ng cinemo, yey, at iba pang features nito
    ano ang katapat ng cinemo sa gma tv box? thanks

  15. SMCS16 says:

    Hello po. ISDB-T rin po ba ang GMA Affordabox? Curious lang po ako. Salamat po.

  16. Rich says:

    i think if ABS will be allowed to be aired again, it will be available on the affordabox as well coz it is a freeTV channel.

  17. Mark says:

    Is abs cbn tv plus is still working? Why are you suggesting two options? GMA Affordabox and Abs Cbn Tv plus? so ABS CBN tv plus working then even after shutdown?

  18. Xander says:

    Naka widescreen na rin ba ang GMA dito or letterbox pa rin? Im confused. Kase kung naka lettebox pa rin at banat pa rin sa mga LED TV, eh walang kwenta naman pala yan since TVPlus can also receive digital GMA signal.

    May plano ba GMA mag-HD? LOLs anong petsa na.

  19. bigjoe says:

    dito lang yata sa Pilipinas nangyayari na nag-aaway ang mga fans ng bawat istatsyon. mag bugok na tao na nagbabangayan para sa mga TV networks.

  20. Salvador Lazo says:

    DID AFFORDABOX OF GMA CAN USE IN ILOCOS REGION OR IN BOQUIG, BANTAY ILOCOS SUR?

  21. Marc says:

    whats interest me is the capability of GMA affordabox to record tv programs (multimedia payer).

  22. Caasi says:

    Tv plus kc maraming magandang channel.kaya lang wala pa franchise.

  23. Ron says:

    This is not an accurate review. I have not used a GMA box. But to add on info with the ABS-CBN box:
    -usb port is for updates only (not programmed for multimedia)
    -both can obtain digital channels (ABS box can obtain GMA & GMA News)
    -recording from the GMA box should not matter, as long as it can get a signal
    Please put out accurate reviews

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