Will Brazil DTV Decision Isolate it From the Rest of Latin America?

The Brazilian government Web site Radiobras.gov.br reported last week that a decree signed Thursday by president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made Brazil's choice of the Japanese DTV format as the basis for its own system (Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão Digital Terrestre or SBTD-T) official. The decree gives Brazil 10 years to make the move from analog to digital transmission and provides four new digital channels -- one for the executive branch and others for education, citizenship and culture. Brazilian broadcasters will receive a separate DTV channel and have 18 months to begin using it for transmission. Within seven years, the Radiobras.gov report, Brazil will use Japanese digital TV format said "broadcasters should be able to ensure that their digital transmissions will be nationwide."

Web site BNAmericas.com article ANALYSIS: Digital TV decision politicized, could lead to isolation includes quotes from a spokesperson for the European DVB coalition expressing astonishment at the decision. It also quotes Jose Otero, president of Signals Telecom Consulting, "Although Brazil is the biggest country in Latin America, this could leave it as a digital TV island in the region." See the article for additional quotes and comments.