Brazil works hard for ISDB

Chris Forrester

Brazil has launched a fresh diplomatic initiative aimed at luring South America's remaining uncommitted nations as to the merits of its Japanese/Brazilian hybrid digital TV transmission standard.

Brazil's Minister of Communications, Helio Costa, stated that his government was focused on "convincing Argentina, Chile and Ecuador" about the standard's benefits. If those countries accept "it will be easier to make other countries aware and to create a regional system", Costa stated. So far, only Peru and Argentina have formally adopted ISDB, although the mere fact that the Ministry has again mentioned Argentina suggests that there may be confusion or at least uncertainty.

Columbia has gone for DVB, while Ecuador has to date only said it "prefers" ISDB.

The Minister and the Japanese Ambassador in Brasilia, Ken Shimanouchi, explained to South American diplomat representatives about the advantages of adopting a common digital TV system. Over the course of an event held at the Japanese Embassy in Brazil, Costa pointed out that "we feel forced to share this technology with other countries".

"Uruguay and Colombia will have to think twice. Because converters to digitalize broadcastings will be sold at lower prices if they are produced in a regional scale in South America", Costa declared. The TV sets and digital decoders market accounts for U$S 10 millions on an annual basis and it will double if South American countries accept the Brazilian proposal. "Our goal is to gain that market", Costa stated.