* 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 signals.
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)