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Costa Rica Dumps ATSC DTV Standard

Although Costa Rica began transmitting DTV using the ATSC standard in June 2006, private broadcasters Repretel and Teletica will soon be making the switch to the Japanese-Brazilian ISDB-Tb terrestrial DTV standard previously called SBTVD.

Costa Rica's adoption of the Japanese-Brazilian ISDB-Tb standard was made official in an executive order signed by the Oscar Arias, the nation's president this week. The order also received the signatures of Costa Rica's Minister for the Presidency and the Minister of Environment Energy and Telecommunications.

Costa Rica formed a special committee last year to test DVB-T, ATSC and ISDB-Tb standards. The committee conducted tests in different parts of the country and concluded that ISDB-Tb was technically more robust and presented "a measurable performance far superior to the performance of the other standards."

Other Latin American companies adopting ISDB-Tb include Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador. ISDB-T is used in Japan.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.