DUBLIN, Ireland Brazil is scheduled to announce Monday (March 6) the government’s final decision on the future of its terrestrial digital TV standards.
The specs would cover high- and standard-definition TV along with mobile TV, said Roberto Franco, technology director at SBT, Brazil's second largest TV network. Franco spoke at the DVB World Forum here.
Brazil's decision could determine the future of DTV broadcast standards for the entire Latin American market, except Mexico, which has adopted the U.S. Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) DTV spec. In contrast, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay have already agreed with Brazil to promote a common standard.
Brazil’s position as Latin linchpin has made it a target of fierce lobbying by promoters of competing DTV standards, including backers of the ATSC and Europe’s Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) Project.
Brazil formed the System of Digital Television (Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão Digital - SBTVD) Development Committee to develop a recommendation that meets government requirements for next- generation DTV.
After several comparative tests of various DTV standards, including ATSC, DVB and Japan’s ISDB-T, Franco said his team recommended deployment of band segmented transmission-orthogonal frequency division modulation (BST-OFDM). The spec uses an MPEG-2 transport layer and an H.264 coding scheme for HDTV, SDTV and mobile TV.
The recommended standard is similar to Japan’s ISDB-T, but is separate from ISDB-T, DVB and ATSC.
Franco cautioned that the Brazilian government could again delay an announcement. More important, there is no guarantee that the government will follow the recommendation. "The government reserves the right to choose something else," he said.
If the government again delays its decision, Franco warned, “I am not sure if the rest of Latin American countries will continue to wait."