Colombia's National Television Commission (CNTV) has launched a public consultation proposing that the country migrates its digital terrestrial TV (DTT) standard from DVB-T to DVB-T2.
The Andean country is the only one in South America to have adopted Europe's DTT technology, developed by the Digital Video Broadcasting consortium. All other countries in the region are deploying infrastructure based on the Brazilian-Japanese specification ISDB-T.
CNTV has recently obtained the results of a series of technical studies that it had commissioned to evaluate the implementation of DVB-T2, a more powerful version of the standard that Colombia had adopted three years ago.
First rolled out by the UK nearly two years ago – followed by other European nations including Sweden, Finland, Italy and Ukraine – DVB-T2 makes a more efficient use of the available radiofrequency spectrum, which in turn translates into higher bandwidth per channel. This makes it possible for broadcasters to either pack more channels per multiplex than in DVB-T systems or to transmit a similar number of channels with some of them in HD or 3D.
Jaime Andrés Estrada, CNTV's director, said the results of the DVB-T2 tests will now be made available to the general public as part of the consultation process.
Should Colombia decide to formally upgrade to the newer version, users who have already bought DVB-T set-top boxes or integrated televisions will find themselves in a situation where they will need to buy DVB-T2-compatible reception equipment to successfully decode DTT transmissions.
But since the development of DTT in Colombia is still at a very early stage, CNTV is convinced this is the right time to migrate to the next-generation version of the standard.