El Salvador wins praise on adoption of ATSC DTV standard

The ATSC Forum last week welcomed the government of El Salvador’s decision to adopt the ATSC Digital Television Standard for digital terrestrial TV broadcasting.

The decision, made April 22 by the country’s General Superintendency of Electricity and Telecommunications, assures El Salvadorans will have access to a wide variety of consumer products at the lowest possible prices, said Robert Graves, ATSC Forum chairman. Selecting ATSC also will assure broadcasters in El Salvador achieve “the greatest possible reception coverage, while delivering the highest digital payload,” he said.

The ATSC family of standards will give broadcasters in El Salvador the ability to deliver SD digital multicasting, data services, HDTV and robust transmission to mobile and handheld devices.

Neighboring Honduras adopted the ATSC standard in January 2007, and ATSC digital TV broadcasts, including HDTV, are on the air in two Honduran cities. ATSC HDTV broadcasts also began in 2006 in both Guatemala and Costa Rica, and efforts continue to bring ATSC DTV broadcasting to the remaining countries in the region.

The ATSC Standard is fully deployed in the United States and South Korea, and is broadly deployed in Canada and Mexico. More than 140 million ATSC receivers have been sold worldwide since late 1998, and more than 30 million additional receivers per year are expected to be sold for the foreseeable future.