Summit of Americas provides diplomats glimpse of DTV future

January 20, 2004

Diplomats from throughout the Americas received a glimpse of the future, a first-hand look at the economic and social benefits of digital television (DTV), during the Private Sector Forum of the Special Summit of the Americas in Monterrey, Mexico.

The presentation before the region’s foreign ministers and business leaders, conducted by the ATSC Forum, highlighted DTV’s potential for fulfilling hemispheric goals of economic growth with equity, social development and democratic governance with broader civic participation.

“As officials work to establish policies that alleviate poverty and promote peace and prosperity, we want them to know that digital television is an effective tool for economic and social development throughout the region,” said ATSC forum chairman Robert Graves.

“Our goal here is to demonstrate this great potential so they will rethink television as they know it today and see that digital television can go a long way toward stimulating national economies, informing and educating societies, and promoting greater transparency in government and greater civic participation,” he added.

ATSC forum presenter and Harris executive Nahuel Villegas showcased the value of DTV as a key tool for hemispheric integration, social inclusion, and bridging the digital divide.

“Information empowers and creates opportunity,” he said, as he led the packed hall though a series of demonstrations that focused on the cost-effective use of DTV signals to broadcast educational information and Internet content to classrooms and other venues.

The DTV presentation also included demonstrations of business and interactive applications, and Villegas stressed that “the same technology can also be used for such things as teacher training, job training, parenting courses, the delivery of diagnostic health information, disaster prevention, and a range of other applications with tangible social and economic benefits.”

The DTV demonstration at the Special Summit was the result of collaboration among Harris, Texas Instruments, LG Electronics, Triveni Digital, Zenith and the ATSC Forum. It comes on the heels of the historic adoption of a resolution by the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) of the Organization of American States (OAS) to encourage the implementation of DTV broadcasting services throughout the hemisphere as rapidly as local conditions permit, using a common standard. In this decision, the 34 members of the OAS have taken a major step toward creating the first hemispheric digital television marketplace.

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