Brazil To Shut Off Analog Transmissions By 2018

RIO DE JANEIRO—The country of Brazil has published its proposed milestone dates for adopting over-the-air digital television broadcasting, and switching off analog broadcasts. It won't be easy, as millions of viewers throughout South America can not afford a new DTV set and signal propagation has not been fully tested.

Despite the transition schedule, many consumers in Brazil might not be bale to afford a new DTV set for years. Genildo Lins, electronic communications secretary for the country's communications ministry Minicom, has stated publicly that the transition is moving slower than hoped, and extended its original 2016 shutoff date to 2018.

Brazil has set a three-year deadline starting in 2015 when the analog transmissions in Rio Verde will go. In 2016, when the country will host the Summer Olympic Games, the main state and regional capitals will make the switch, including in Brasilia (on April 3rd), Sao Paulo (May 15th), Belo Horizonte (June 26th), Goiania (August 28th) and Rio de Janeiro (November 27th).

The transition process will continue through 2017 in Salvador, Fortaleza, Recife, Vitoria, interior of Rio de Janeiro and the interior of Sao Paulo, Campinas, Ribeirao Preto, Vale do Paraíba, Santos, Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Bauru and Presidente Prudente.

The rest of the towns and countryside regions will be switched off during the winter of 2017-18. Many people in the country are keeping their collective fingers crossed that the transition goes smoothly.

"Our main goal is to ensure no one will have a blank screen in their TVs when the switch off comes," said Patrícia Avila, from Minicom's licensing department.

Like in the U.S., the Brazil government hopes to auction off the 700 MHz of analog spectrum for mobile telephony applications.