ATSC Gets International Takers

Mexico and Korea are really, really going to use the ATSC standard for digital broadcasting. Really.

On Wednesday, the ATSC again announced that Mexico has formally adopted the ATSC standard for digital broadcasting. Once such previous announcement was retracted when the government of Mexico said it hadn't made a decision at that point.

This time, the ATSC's release included a quote from Televisa's director of High Technology Projects, Leonardo Ramos, who said, "With several experimental ATSC DTV stations successfully on the air in Mexico, we are pleased with the official announcement that allows us to move forward with our fellow broadcasters to transition all of North America in the digital age. By December 31, 2006, commercial DTV services will be in Mexico's three largest cities: Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, as well as in certain cities along the Mexico-U.S. border."

ATSC President Mark Richer said that after working with Mexico for 15 years, the ATSC was "extremely pleased" with the announcement.

Korea also reiterated that ATSC would not be supplanted as its national DTV standard. The Korea Herald reported that the four-year debate over the standard there had come to an end according to a joint release from the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Korean Broadcasting Commission, KBS (Korea Broadcasting System) and the National Union of Media Workers.

"The agreement was aimed at speeding the digital-television transition with the Athens Summer Olympic Games right at the door. We expect that 80 percent of the country's households to have access to digital-television broadcasts by the end of this year," Rha Bong-ha, director of the Communication Ministry's broadcast satellite division, told the Herald. "By clearing the uncertainties over standards, electronics manufacturers can invest aggressively to develop digital-television products and also increase consumer demand."