Brazil adopts Japanese digital standard

Brazil

Brazil has chosen to adopt Japanese technology as the basis for its switchover to digital television.

The South American country will use the Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) format in preference to those employed in Europe and the USA. This will be the first time that ISDB-T has been taken up outside of Japan.

The Brazilian government claims its choice was based on the fact that the Japanese digital TV standard is the cheapest and most efficient and can be easily adapted and modernised while offering the greatest number of services to consumers.

A statement from the presidential press office said that the system will allow high-definition images, interactive use with internet functions and portable reception.

The technology—developed by Japan's largest broadcaster, NHK—is expected to be put into operation within the next seven years, and the switch from analogue to digital broadcasts will take place over a decade.

The Brazilian government forecasts the country's digital TV market will become a $40bn business over the next 10 to 20 years, but says there is no immediate need for households to switch to new television equipment because the country's new digital signal can be picked up on analogue sets with the help of a small decoder.

Brazil, which has 120m TV viewers who buy 10m analogue sets each year, originally planned to develop its own format, but later chose to adopt existing technology and spent many months coming to its final decision. Now the country hopes to develop the Japanese standard and then export it to other nations.

Lovelace Consulting  |  04.07.2006

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