Just as Brazil has started to switch off analogue TV, experts are pointing out that the biggest challenges will be low coverage and the risk of digital exclusion.
During the Broadcast Technology and New Media seminar, organised by Brazil’s society for television engineering (SET), specialists draw attention to both issues, as the country had completed the digital switchover in the capital, Brasilia.
”No coverage target has been set prior to the switch-off. A reception target of 93% has been set, but there are no criteria on coverage. Firstly, we sold the band, then we created models to clean up the band, which should be in place by 2018. Reaching the percentage is extremely difficult to do, but not impossible", said Gunnar Bedicks of Seja Digital.
"We did the switch-off in Brasilia, reaching a digitalisation level of almost 90.92%. The capital proved that the percentage is attainable. Another aspect giving us cause for concern is reception. In spite of the efforts made, there are homes where the installation has not been done properly,” added Paulo Henrique Balduino, director of Abert.
Among TV channels, one of the main concerns is the possibility of leaving part of the audience out of the digital transition.
"The challenge is to leave no receiver behind. We have split the population into groups: the elderly, those in need, the negligent and the self-sufficient. Our communication department has given talks in shopping malls, bus stations, parks and colleges, thanks to which we were able to reach out to over 50,000 people who, at the very least, were introduced to the issue for the first time,” pointed out Tiago Cunha, engineer at Globo Brasília.