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Ecuador Picks SBTVD System for DTV Broadcasting

Last week Ecuador joined its South American neighbors (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, and Peru) in selecting SBTVD, Brazil's modified version of Japan's ISDB-T standard, for digital terrestrial broadcasting in Ecuador.

Government officials expect to have sufficient DTV coverage to reach 90 percent of Ecuador's population within a few years. Analog broadcasting could end in as few as seven years.

With the right receiver, viewers in the Florida Keys may be able to pick up SBTVD DTV from Cuba. On Monday, Radio Netherlands Worldwide posted a report from Xinhua on SBTVD in South and Latin America -- Brazil aims to set South American digital TV standard.

According to the article, Brazil is pushing Cuba as well as Latin American countries Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica to adopt SBTVD as their DTV standard,

SBTVD is based on the Japanese ISDB-T standard. Brazil modified ISBD-T to match the channel bandwidth available in South America and has updated it to more modern video encoding methods--H.264 (MPEG-4) instead of MPEG-2. ISDB-T is a multicarrier COFDM system, similar to DVB-T, with a longer interleaver to improve performance in the presence of impulse noise.

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.