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Digital Television Coming To Costa Rica In 2017

Although there is still time, it is best to start saving up for a new digital television set as Costa Rica moves to "digital only" television on December 15, 2017. On that date, free television - signals picked up by antenna and rabbit ears - will only air digitally.

Rabbit ear television to go the way of the dinosaur in Costa Rica in 2017

Television in Costa Rica has been airing for the last five decades, when RenÚ Picado Esquivel and Carlos Manuel Reyes Zamora founded Televisora de Costa Rica (Teletica).

Since fifty years ago, television transmission has been by VHF and UHF analog signal, a signal travels only one way, from transmitter (the television station antenna) to receiver (your television set).

But, before the change there will be a information campaign to tell Ticos of the benefits of digital television, better sound and quality, for instance.

Hannia Vega, viceministra de Telecomunicaciones, explianed that the government is preparing a decree to enable the change and preparations for a standard.

Digital Television is a digital technology that refers to the sending and receiving of video and audio information by means of digitally modulated signals. It provides a greater number of channels and better quality of picture and sound in the same amount of frequency bandwidth required by analog television.

Digital television also provides different interactive information services like on-air program guide (EPG), TV shopping and on-air games to name a few.

There are several digital TV standards developed and deployed in different countries: ATSC in the US, North America and South Korea, ISDB-T in Japan and Brazil, DVB-T in Europe and most countries in Asia, Africa and in Australia and New Zealand.

While in Costa Rica the American standard (ASTC) is being used, it will be changed to the Japaneze-Brazilian standard, because it offers advantages in covering the entire national territory, offers key options for interactivity and can be adapted to mobile devices ie it is possible to receive TV signals on mobile phones.

Vega admits that the change will not be an easy one, as it will require a joint effort between government, private enterprise and international cooperation, as the digital television system is primarily aimed at 60% of Costa Ricans who do not subscribe to any pay (cable or satellite) television system.


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