Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 27-09-2011

Chile and Brazil have signed a cooperation agreement on digital terrestrial television (DTT) technology. Dubbed Technical Assistance for the Implementation of Digital Television in Chile, it will focus on the expertise developed by Brazil – and urgently needed in neighbouring countries – around the ISDB-T specification.

Formally adopted by the majority of South American nations – Colombia being the notable exception having chosen Europe's DVB-T system for DTT transmissions – ISDB-T has been gaining widespread acceptance throughout the region ever since Brazilian engineers were able to enhance the original version of the Japanese standard with a number of key innovations.

The two most important such enhancements have been the replacement of MPEG-2 video encoding technology with MPEG-4, and the development of a homegrown middleware specification for ISDB-T set-top boxes, nicknamed Ginga.

This development, added to the regional pioneering role that Brazil has taken in migrating from analogue to digital terrestrial transmissions, have turned the country into the de facto expert on all matters ISDB-T.

The agreement, signed on Friday between Chile's national minister for transport and telecommunications, Pedro Pablo Errázuriz, and Brazil's ambassador to Chile, Frederico Cezar de Araujo, seeks to accelerate the transfer of knowledge from Brazil to Chile's broadcast industry and academia.

As part of the deal, some US$500,000 will be invested in the set up of research laboratories and the organisation of a series of training events during the remaining of this year and into 2012.