Brazil Picks ISDB-T for DTV

Last week, Minister of Communications Helio Costa said that Brazil selected the Japanese ISDB-T standard as the country's model for terrestrial DTV. The ISDB-T standard uses COFDM, as does the European DVB-T standard, but features a longer interleaver, providing greater immunity to interference from impulse noise. An Agencia Brasil Radiobras article said the Japanese system was selected because it allows transmission to mobile devices that was "not the case with the European model, which only permits high-definition transmission to television sets." Something was probably lost in the translation, as the European DVB-T standard is used primarily for standard-definition TV broadcasting and does have the capability of using hierarchical modulation to carry a DVB-H signal for handhelds.

The Ministry of Communications press office said "the agreement provides for discoveries made by Brazilian scientists to be incorporated into the Japanese model." The standard for Brazil, as a result, will not be a pure ISDB-T implementation but, as the Radiobras article states, is being referred to as the "Nippo-Brazilian" model. The press office also said the government plans to "ensure that open TV will be available in digital format to the entire Brazilian population, in order to expand the industry and stimulate national technology."

As previously reported, there is a diplomatic effort underway to establish a common DTV standard in the region. Last week reported that Gustavo Perez, TV manager at Telefonica CTC Chile said Chilean authorities should consider adopting the same DTV standard as other Latin American countries to boost economies of scale when importing TVs.