Argentina adopts Japanese digital TV standard

Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:25pm EDT

 * Brazil has promoted Japanese standard in region
 * Japanese standard competes with European, US, others
 BARILOCHE, Argentina, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Argentina signed
on Friday an agreement to adopt the Japanese digital television
standard, joining Brazil, which has already implemented the
Japanese standard in its big cities.
 With Brazil and Argentina, South America's largest
economies, using the Japanese Integrated Services Digital
Broadcasting, or ISDB, standard, much of the rest of the region
is expected to follow.
 Argentine President Cristina Fernandez signed the agreement
to adopt the standard on Friday in the southern Argentine city
of Bariloche.
 In 1998 Argentina had chosen the U.S. digital television
standard ATSC, but it was never implemented and the Fernandez
government revoked that decision after Brazil lobbied in South
America for the Japan standard, saying a regional alignment
would facilitate production of the equipment to receive digital
 Brazil and Japan also argued the ISDB standard was the best
for sending transmissions to mobile telephones and to produce
interactive television programs.
 Peru has also adopted the Japanese standard and Venezuela
is leaning toward doing so.
 Around the world, countries are gradually switching to
digital television, which allows more channels to be
transmitted at higher resolution over less bandwidth. The
Japanese standard competes with European DVB standards, ATSC
North American Standards and others.
 An industry group of Japanese companies, the Digital
Broadcasting Experts Group, or DiBEG, has promoted the Japanese
standard in Latin America. Leaders of that group include NEC
Corporation (6701.T), Japanese Broadcasting Corporation (NHK),
Panasonic Corporation (6752.T), Fuji Television Network
(4676.T), Hitachi, Ltd. (6501.T), Mitsubishi Electric
Corporation (6503.T), Panasonic Corporation (6752.T), Sony
Corporation (6758.T) and others.
 (Reporting by Kevin Gray, writing by  Fiona Ortiz, editing by
Matthew Lewis)