ATSC Forum Welcomes El Salvador

WASHINGTON: The ATSC Forum gave a thumbs-up to El Salvador today for adopting the ATSC DTV standard for terrestrial transmission. The country’s General Superintendency of Electricity and Telecommunications--SIGET--decided to go with ATSC in late April. It joins North America, South Korea and other Latin American countries in using the standard, developed by the Advanced Television Systems Committee.

The decision in El Salvador was based on a technical report issued by the Telecommunications Bureau of SIGET on April 4, which in turn relied on recommendations issued in March 2008 by the Central American Regional Technical Commission of Telecommunications. Honduras adopted the ATSC Standard in January 2007, and ATSC digital television broadcasts, including high-definition television, are on the air in two cities in that country.

ATSC HDTV broadcasts also began in 2006 in both Guatemala and Costa Rica, and efforts continue to bring ATSC digital television broadcasting to the remaining countries in the region.

Other Latin American countries, including Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic, are preparing to choose their digital television broadcast standards. ATSC is said to be “broadly deployed in Canada and Mexico” as well. More than 140 million ATSC receivers have been sold worldwide since 1998, with more than 30 million additional receivers per year expected to sell in the future.