Two TV network giants in the Philippines have their own digital TV set-top box receivers.
The first to come out was the ABS-CBN TVPlus back in 2015. It brought the DTV signal receivers to the mainstream market. Set-top boxes gave Filipinos who have aging TVs access to crystal-clear channels, without the monthly subscription of cable access or streaming platforms like Netflix.
A few years since its release, its rival network launched the GMA Affordabox. Just like the former, it gives you access to digital TV signals with better clarity than the traditional analog channels that we’re used to.
They may serve the same purpose, but these two actually have a couple of differences. So, here in our GMA Affordabox vs ABS-CBN TV Plus comparison, we’ll see how they stack up against each other and which has the better features that are fit for your needs.
|ABS-CBN TV Plus
Php2,299 (HDMI version, phased out)
|Digital Indoor Antenna
HDMI (phased out model)
|Personal Video Recorder
(only on GMA, GNTV, Heart of Asia)
|Auto-on Alert Features
Nationwide Emergency Warnings
Nationwide Emergency Warnings
|Batangas, Benguet, Bohol,
Bulacan, Cavite, Cebu,
Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro,
Davao del Sur, La Union,
Metro Manila, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Quezon, Rizal, Tarlac
|Bacolod, Batangas, Benguet,
Bulacan, Cagayan De Oro, Cavite,
Davao, Iloilo, Laguna,
Metro Cebu, Metro Manila,
Nueva Ecija, Pampanga,
Pangasinan, Rizal, Tarlac
|TVs with RCA (White, Red, Yellow) or HDMI ports
|TVs with RCA (White, Red, Yellow)
|GMA Affordabox Unit
Indoor antenna (5m)
Remote w/ 2x AAA batteries
|ABS-CBN TV Plus unit
Remote Control w/ 2x AAA batteries
|Official GMA Store in Lazada, Shopee
|Partner stores online and offline
Hardware and Input
The GMA Affordabox easily won this round. With its cheaper price, you’re already getting an HDMI port, which is great if you have a flat-screen or smart TV. Although, both DTV boxes would work in almost any kind of TV since RCA cables — the one with a white, yellow, and red ports — are still common to this day.
ABS-CBN do offer an HDMI model of the TV Plus. However, a lot of online resellers are saying that it has been phased out already.
The GMA Affordabox also offers better flexibility with its antenna out and coaxial ports.
Both digital TV receivers can take digital signals from free channels. However, the ABS-CBN TVPlus do have the lead here thanks to its wider variety of exclusive channels that you can only access on it.
Although, the recently imposed cease and desist order to ABS-CBN means that all of these channels are currently unviewable, even with the TVPlus.
On the other hand, GMA’s flagship channel, plus its own GMA News TV and Heart of Asia channels, are easily accessible on the Affordabox. There are also reports saying that GMA will be launching channels for cartoon shows, anime, and more, which will be exclusive to the Affordabox.
But in case you have other digital TV receivers, GMA channels are also accessible there for free.
Locations and Coverage
Both the GMA Affordabox and ABS-CBN TV Plus covers major areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. However, the total count of supported areas of the Affordabox is higher than the TVPlus.
But that doesn’t mean that the Affordabox is better. It may have a higher number, but there are locations that the TVPlus covers that the Affordabox doesn’t. Your area and location has the final say on this one.
Although both of them have USB ports, you can only play media on the Affordabox. How does playing multimedia work? Simply import your HD movies, pictures, or music on a flash drive or external hard drive, plug it in, and watch those files on the Affordabox. A feature that’s sadly missing on the TVPlus.
Personal Video Recording
A feature that is only available on the GMA Affordabox. How does it work? Let’s say, you want to re-watch a live TV show with family members once they got home: simply hit record, save and you can now watch it at a later time. However, this feature is only available in GMA channels.
Price and Warranty
This is where the GMA Affordabox shines. As the name suggests, it’s more affordable at the price of only Php888. On the other hand, the ABS-CBN TVPlus costs almost two times more at Php1,499. Both devices come with 1 year warranty.
As of writing, the TV Plus is available in more stores nationwide, while the Affordabox is only available online. Since it just came out, we expect the store availability of the Affordabox to improve over time.
Why is GMA Affordabox better than the ABS-CBN TVPlus?
- Cheaper price
- HDMI output
- Watch media from an external drive
- Private video recording
Why is the ABS-CBN TVPlus better than the GMA Affordabox?
- Wide variety of exclusive channels
- Better availability