President praises arrival of digital TV transmitter

President Laura Chinchilla Monday welcomed the change to digital transmission by Canal 13 of the Sistema Nacional de Radio y Television and announced that the government was the first to use the Japanese-Brazilian digital format.

Viewers quickly asked the television channel via its Web site what would happen to television sets that now use the Advanced Television Systems Committee standards or ATSC. The Japanese-Brazilian system is called ISDB.Tb.

Ms. Chinchilla negotiated a grant from the Japanese to obtain the equipment for the transmissions. A committee has been set up to study the various digital systems and pick one for the country. Resident Oscar Arias Sánchez issued a decree in 2010 adopting the Japanese-Brazilian system.

Canal 13 made a broadcast from Casa Presidencial, and called it the first in Costa Rica. However, foreign digital programming has been here for years. Amnet, for example, offers at least 240 different digital channels. Amnet requires persons with older television sets to obtain a convert box to change the digital signal into analog data. However, the president’s message and Canal 13 made no mention of the compatibility situation.

Other television stations are broadcasting digitally now, but just to the Internet. Teletica and Repretel both have feeds that send selected programming to computers. So does the new Canal 9.

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