Brazil Begins DTV Broadcasts

As previously reported in RF Report, Brazil selected a customized version of the Japanese ISDB-T standard that incorporates technologies such as MPEG-4 video encoding that were not widely available when the original ATSC, DVB-T and ISDB-T terrestrial DTV standards were adopted.
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Brazil launched digital broadcasts this week, which included high-definition programming and news from TV Globo. As previously reported in RF Report, Brazil selected a customized version of the Japanese ISDB-T standard that incorporates technologies such as MPEG-4 video encoding that were not widely available when the original ATSC, DVB-T and ISDB-T terrestrial DTV standards were adopted.

Brazil’s unique version of the ISDB-T standard, which has not been widely used outside of Japan, has put a high price on DTV set-top decoder boxes in Brazil. Although the boxes currently cost nearly US $300, Brazil’s government—like the United States—is expected to offer hundred of millions of dollars in credits to help lower the cost of the decoders.

The digital broadcasts are currently taking place only in São Paulo, but are expected to be available in Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, as well as some other cities, in 2008. Total countrywide rollout is expected by 2016.