Argentina to subsidise digital portable TVs

Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 13-10-2011

It might not be official yet, but it already has a name: the Digital Portable TVs for Everyone plan will swing into action before the end of this year, Argentine newspaper BAE has revealed.
Citing sources from within the Secretary of Interior Commerce, the paper said that the Government is trying to gather support from both electrical goods retailers and foreign and domestic consumer electronics manufacturers.
If everything goes according to plan, the central government body managed by Guillermo Moreno will be announcing the plan in November, once the national presidential elections – in which the incumbent Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is widely expected to be re-elected to serve a second term – are over.
A few weeks ago, Argentine manufacturer Coradir, based in the mid-western province of San Luis, introduced one of the first digital portable screens to hit the market. Compatible with the rapidly expanding digital terrestrial television (DTT) network currently being rolled out across the country, the DigiTV 700Full-Seg retails for 900 Pesos (US$213).
The Government is hoping to strike a deal with OEMs, supermarket chains and other retailers that would let people buy this or similar screens for only 600 Pesos (US$142), to be paid in up to 50 monthly instalments.
Even if this subsidy materialises, 600 Pesos for a portable TV might not appeal to everyone. Several laptop owners, for example, might instead prefer to get an ISDB-T dongle for similar functionality at less than half the price tag. But it's also true that, with fixed monthly instalments of only 12 Pesos (US$2.80), many others might feel tempted to buy a digital portable telly to give it a try.
For that to happen, though, a critical mass of users will first need to be convinced that both signal reception quality and video content on offer on the DTT system will work for them – something that hasn't quite happened yet.