San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican TV To Go Digital

Costa Rican television likely will become much clearer in the next few years.

Representatives of several communications businesses announced last week the “Arrival of the Era of Digital Television” during a presentation at the Hotel Marriott in San Antonio de Belen, northwest of San José.

The forum, hosted by the consulting firm Deloitte and the Chamber of Info- Communications, announced that a panel of representatives from several sectors in Costa Rica will decide the type of digital television package to be implemented. The panel will select a digital television (DTV) package and present it to the executive branch of government by March 30, 2010.

This announcement met some resistance Monday when University of Costa Rica (UCR) Dean Yamileth González advocated for a more open debate about digitalization.

“This should be a public debate that presents a transparent process of digitalization,” González said. “There needs to be strong communication of the decision to the people of the country.”

The possible integration of digital television in Costa Rica follows a growing trend worldwide. In the past three years, several countries have integrated digital television nationally, including the United States, which implemented nationwide DTV on June 20 of this year. But after the switch, many people were unable to watch their televisions because the sets were unequipped to receive the digital signal.

At the presentation last week, it was announced that, in order to receive the DTV signal, households must purchase digital-ready TVs or a signal converter to wire into their current sets.

–Adam Williams

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