Only 120 of Brazil’s 10,000 TV Transmitter licences converted to ISDB-T
US Broadcast company Harris has announced the launch of a new broadcast manufacturing facility in Campinas Brazil, 80 miles northwest of Sao Paulo. The new plant will produce Harris Maxiva UAX air-cooled solid-state transmitters for sale across Brazil, Mercosur, (the common market of South America) and other Latin American countries.
Brazilian broadcasters are preparing for an analog shut down in 2016 when they will be required by law to adopt the ISDB-Tb digital format.
Harris said that to date, only 120 of the approximately 10,000 TV licensees in Brazil have made the conversion to digital.
The slow progress in the transition to DTT in Brazil may explain their need to persuade other countries to adopt the same system so that set top boxes prices, which are currently too high, are reduced by economies of scale, to a level that is acceptable to the population.
Source: Invest in Brazil and Harris
Item added: 31st August 2010
ISDB-T choice declared ‘unconstitutional” and STB sales slow
Brazil’s General Prosecuting Office (Procuraduria General) has declared that the official decree to establish ISDB-T in the country was unconstitutional. The Procuraduria General is said to have produced strong criticism of the federal governments decision eighteen months ago reports NexTVLatam.
The criticism is also expected to make other Latin American countries considering adopting the same system reconsider.
In a separate report the Minister of Communications has also said that the sales of Set Top Boxes (STB) are moving very slowly, with only approximately 250,000 sold since the 2007 introduction of Digital TV in Brazil using ISDB-T.
The price of ISDB-T STB’s has been high in contrast to those in DVB-T countries where economies of scale have made unit prices as low as USD 32. Recently the prices of some ISDB-T boxes have been reduced by the government to USD 98.2 to stimulate demand but this is still said to be too expensive for most of the population.
Main source: NexTVLatam
Item added: 24th July 2009
Brazil's DTT Set Top Boxes still very expensive
Despite earlier reports that DTT Set Top boxes in Brazil were commonly available for R$199, said to be expensive at the time, this price is still just a dream for consumers.
In fact the cheapest low end device now available two and a half years since the launch of the ISDB-T is much more, at around R$299, with the average price of boxes still at R$500. For a top of the range box you would need to spend around R$1000.
Sources: subamarino.com compare.buscape.com comprafacil.com
Item added: 26th May 2009
Brazil’s DTT one year on
In early December Brazil reached the first anniversary of the introduction of DTT in the country using a standard based on its own customised version of the Japanese ISDB-T.
According to Fórum Brasileiro, the association for the promotion of DTT in the country, only 645,000 viewers can watch the new television, reports Rapid TV News.
The price of set-top boxes is around Reales 199, nearly €64. Experts point to this price as the main reason for the low penetration.
So far Japan and Brazil are the only countries to use the ISDB-T standard for terrestrial digital broadcasting.
Source: Rapid TV News
Item added: 16th December 2008
Adoption under 200,000 DTT STB’s so far
Brazil, which is the only country to use the Japanese ISDB-T standard outside Japan estimates that 200,000 DTT STB’s have been sold since the launch of its specially customised system SBTVD.
The slow take up by the 53 million population is attributed to a number of factors.
One of these is said to be confusion over what to buy in a market with many types of boxes available, as well as interactivity only being possible with boxes able to support “Ginga” middleware.
Most potential users also have to install a UHF antenna to be able to watch the broadcasts, which are only receivable on STB’s, still considered expensive for the market, although prices are dropping slowly.
Unfortunately”Ginga" STB’s are not yet available at the time of writing.
More comprehensive information can be found by accessing the original article, which is available by clicking on the following link.
Source: Connected TV
Item added: 11th November 2008
DTT take up low
Broadcasters and manufacturers are blaming the government for the low take up of DTT services using the hybrid ISDB-T, DTT system adopted by Brazil. They say that the government has not lived up to its previous promises on ISDB-T introduction and is overtaxing the industry. The government has responded by blaming the manufacturers for the low take up saying that only a few expensive Set Top Boxes have been made available in the shops and this has resulted in the take up being only 10,000 in the Greater Sao Paulo area.
TV sets with embedded digital decoders are said to be on sale for around $7500.
Digital TV broadcasts will be extended to the cities of Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador by July of this year, with a national analogue switch off set for June 2016.
ISDB-T was developed for use in Japan and Brazil is the only additional county in the world to adopt the system.
Item added: 10th March 2008
Government threatens digital TV manufacturers
The Brazilian Government has threatened to liberalise the import of DTV converters from China if local manufacturers do not succeed in meeting the December 2nd deadline to offer DTT boxes which cost $100 or less, according to advanced-television.com.
Manufacturers claim that it will be difficult to produce set-top-boxes for Brazil’s unique digital TV system, (which is based on Japan’s ISDB-T), for less than $200.
To ease costs manufacturers have requested tax benefits, which they say, could reduce the box cost by 36%. The Government in reply says that it can import boxes from China for as little as $75.
Main source: advanced-television.com
Item added: 26th June 2007
DTT services to start on December 2nd 2007
Rede Globo has announced that it will start DTT transmissions in Sao Paulo on 2nd December 2007 using channel 18. Digital broadcasting will also begin in Rio de Janeiro during the first half of 2008 with other regional capitals starting DTT services by the end of 2008.
Brazil’s Communications Minister, Helio Costa also announced that UHF channels 60 to 69 would be made available for DTT use by public broadcasters during January 2008.
Source: Advanced TV.com
Item added: 8th May 2007
Government minister defends the choice of ISDB-T for Brazil
Brazils communications minister Helio Costa has defended the government’s choice of the Japanese ISDB-T television system saying that it was purely a choice made on technical grounds alone.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the telecom conference Futurecom 2006 in Florianapolis.
Brazil is the first and only country to choose the ISDB-T system, which was developed and is used in Japan.
Several other countries have chosen the American ATSC system but by far the majority, more than 50 countries selected DVB-T after there own technical tests and comparison of the merits of each system.
Following the recent Radio Communication Conference in Geneva, DVB-T is now the system of choice in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and many parts of Asia.
Initial news source: Business News Americas
Item added: 4th October 2006
ISDB-T decision challenged
Although the decision by Brazil to adopt the Japanese ISDB-T system (albeit modified with a Brazilian flavour) was announced at the end of June it seems that there is still disquiet in Brazil over the reasons given for its choice.
According to Brasilnews, the Federal Public Ministry for Mines yesterday filed a suit (20a) with the Federal Justice authorities in Belo Horizonte asking for action to make the decree to adopt the ISDB-T system null and void or at least six articles in it.
One of the main areas of challenge is given as the lack of reasons provided to justify ISDB-T’s adoption over the other system choices.
It also states that the Japanese decoders will be more expensive because other countries have not adopted their system and the economies of scale provided by the choice of other systems will not be possible with ISDB-T.The availability or usefulness of its interactive services and how they will help the public with social and educational functions is also queried.
Item added: 22nd August 2006
Brazil decides on a Digital Terrestrial TV system
President Luiz Inaciao Lula da Silva signed a decree finally affirming the DTT system for Brazil on Thursday 29th June 2006. The decree names the Japanese ISDB-T system as the basis for the new Brazilian standard called Sistema Brasileiro de Televisao Digital Terrestre (SBTD-T).
Whilst the ISDB-T standard forms the basis for SBTD-T the final system will be adapted for the special requirements of Brazil and will be based on the new MPEG-4, H.264 AVC compression standard and Brazilian Middleware.
The system, like ISDB-T, is also capable of transmitting several low bit rate video programmes to mobile handheld devices whilst at the same time delivering better definition to fixed receivers. The requirement to be able to deliver programmes to mobile devices without having to deal with Telco’s was especially attractive to existing broadcasters. However it is likely in the long run that a more comprehensive mobile standard like DVB-H or MediaFLO will be used to provide users with 30 or more programmes instead of the few available using the ISDB-T single segment system.
In order to reach an agreement, Japan offered Brazil exemption from some of the royalty payments due for the application of its technology as well as the possibility of building a new semiconductor factory. In addition the transition from the existing TV standard PAL-M to SBTD-T will be financed by the Japanese JBIC and the Brazilian development bank BNDES.Brazil will take ten years for the transition to be completed through-out the whole country and it is likely that the first products for the reception of the new Brazilian standard will appear in 12 months time.Brazil is the first country to use the ISDB-T system outside Japan and it expects to work together with Japan on developing and improving the system to better meet its specific requirements.Sources, many including: Tiscali technology, Agencia EFE S.A., Prensa.com, eluniversal.com, Dow Jones, AFP.
Item added: 2nd July 2006
Controversy Over Digital TV
A recent article from the IPS Inter Press Service discusses the dilemas and issues which continue to delay a digital TV system choice in Brazil. It is worthwhile reading for those wishing to research the issue in more depth.
The article "BRAZIL: Controversy Over Digital TV" by Mario Osava is available on the IPS website and can be accessed by clicking on the following link: IPS Inter Press Service
Item added: 16th June 2006
Government Delegation to visit Europe
According to Radiobras.gov.br, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will travel to Vienna in the second week of May to discuss the latest proposals on digital TV from the European Union. Quoting Luiz Fernando Furlan, minister for the Development of Industry and foreign commerce, the report goes on to say that the new proposal from the EU was received on April 17th and that the forthcoming EU/LAC Vienna Summit will provide a ready forum for the Brazilian delegation to further discuss the proposal.
This proposal follows that for the Japanese ISDB-T system and associated support from Japan in implementing it, which resulted in the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two countries.
Item added: 20th April 2006
DTT system decision expected in the run up to the October election
Negotiations and discussions are continuing between Brazil, Japan, Europe and the USA over the best system choice to be used for Digital Television in Brazil.
The decision has moved a long way from being purely a technical choice and now seems to revolve around incoming investment, charges for Intellectual Property Rights and help with the training and deployment of a new system in Brazil.
Both the Japanese and DVB systems provide HDTV, SDTV and mobile television. Both systems also use similar technologies and it remains to be seen whether the Japanese system can be delivered without the payment of IPR fees being necessary to the many worldwide companies who's technologies are being used within it.
Recently a memorandum of understanding on DTT was signed by Brazil and Japan which may lead to the selection of ISDB-T if further negotiations on forward investment can be reached.
However it was stated by Brazilian representatives that the memorandum of understanding does not mean that the ISDB-T system has been chosen but it will be a useful piece of additional support for Japan.
The memorandum described involvement by Japan in developing Brazil's electronics industry and also the training of Brazilian engineers to operate the system according recent news reports.
A decision is expected to be announced during the run up to the October elections.
Sources: IBL news, Monsters and Critics, Dow Jones and @LIS Weekly Market Watch.
Item added: 18th April 2006
Brazil delays Digital TV Format choice
The committee for the Development of the Brazilian System of Television, consisting of nine ministers, has delayed its decision, planned for March 10th, on which DTT system to adopt.
This announcement confirms that recent press reports saying that the Japanese system, ISDB-T, had been chosen were false.
The other DTT candidates for Brazil are the DVB system, which is used by more countries in the world than any other, or the ATSC system, which does not allow mobile TV reception, a key requirement for Brazil.
A fourth choice consisting of a hybrid system specifically crafted for Brazilian requirements has long been a wish in Brazil but it is not known if enough internal funding and resource is available to make this happen.
It is hoped that the strong desire to test a chosen digital TV system during the forthcoming World Soccer Cup in Germany this summer will make a decision possible soon.
Item added: 21 March 2006
EU's Viviane Reding in talks with Brazil and Argentina on Digital TV
This week sees the visit of the EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding, to Agentina and Brazil. Accompanying her, are executives from Nokia, Philips, ST, Siemens and DVB.
The visit is timely as, officially at least, the Brazilian government is due to announce a decision on February 10th.
The DVB system is already used in Europe, Australia and parts of Asia as well as being the adopted system in many other countries including India and South Africa.
Source: iwon and DVB
Item added: 31st January 2006
Government to launch Digital TV by September ?
Brazil's communication minister Helio Costa says the government plans to introduce digital TV services in the country by September 2006, according to local news service Agencia Estado, Telegeography.com reports on its website.
The decision to choose either the ISDB-T or DVB-T system still has to be made but the US ATSC system is said to be already discounted.
Brazil's plans to develop its own system are also reported to have stopped.
Costa is reported to have said that transmission testing will begin in June with a full-blown commercial service launching in September.
Item added: 23rd January 2006
The launch date for DTV in Brazil published in a recent Bloomberg.com article contradicts this optimistic start date and simply says that according to Costa's Brazilian broadcasters will begin transmitting DTT in the next five years.
Item added: 25th January 2006
Minister of Communication clarifies speech
Hélio Costa, head of the Ministry of Communication, met with members of the project of Sistema Brasileno de TV Digital (SBTVD). As published by TelecomOnline, sources present in the meeting assured that Costa implied that his statement referring to SBTVD was "misunderstood". The minister explained that "when he said that the country could not have a national standard, he referred only to the transmission section.
"Brazil can have an own digital TV system, including other components such as middleware", explained the officer.
Item added: 1st August 2005
Brazil abandons plans to develop its own digital TV standard (see above)
Brazil has been investigating the development of its own digital terrestrial broadcasting system but according to a report by TMCnet existing systems such as ISDB, DVB-T and the ATSC 8-VSB will once again be investigated for a Brazilian system choice.
Communications Minister Helio Costa is reported to have said that Brazil's efforts to develop its own standard were unworkable considering the lack of research money devoted to the effort.
Brazil has more than 120 million TV viewers and more homes have TV sets than refrigerators making it a very good prospective market for digital TV.
Item added: 15th July 2005 (see story above)
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Last page update: 31st August 2010, Barry Tew