Brazil promises SA cash, skills for digital TV

Andre Barbosa Filho

Brazil has set aside money and expertise to help SA if it ditches its commitment to the European standard for digital terrestrial television and stumps for the standard used in the South American country instead.

André Barbosa Filho, special advisor to the presidency of Brazil, says that if SA decides to adopt Brazil’s integrated service digital broadcasting terrestrial (ISDB-Tb) standard, it will bring in people to discuss joint ventures for the manufacturing of television sets, mobile television handsets and digital set-top boxes.

He says the country has set aside funds to bring in representatives to begin discussions.

The department of communications dropped a bombshell on SA’s broadcasting industry in April when it called a symposium to discuss whether the country should maintain its commitment to the digital video broadcasting terrestrial (DVB-T) standard.

The department wanted to know whether SA should consider other standards, including Japan’s ISDB-T. (The Brazilians adopted a version of ISDB-T).

This prompted speculation that SA had concluded some or other behind-the-scenes deal with the Brazilians, an accusation that communications department director-general Mamodupi Mohlala has steadfastly denied.

SA formally agreed to use the DVB-T standard in 2006 when it signed an agreement with the rest of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Telecommunication Union.

Now, Brazil is getting ready to put forward money and other inducements to have its standard recognised on the African continent.

Fihlo says Brazil has been involved in the roll-out of digital TV to many of the South American countries that have adopted the IDSB-Tb standard.

He says the country has participated in many joint ventures in manufacturing across the trade zone, and has also helped participating South American countries with software development.

Though Japan appears to have brought little to Brazil in terms of investment, Fihlo says the Asian country gave Argentinean broadcasters financial assistance to implement the technology.

“Japan, with [Brazil], will do the same in SA,” he says. A Japanese delegation will be in SA next week to put forward its position on the ISDB-T standard.

Brazil’s push to see its standard implemented in Africa will bring it much needed economies of scale. Fihlo says about 50m people already use ISDB-T and ISDB-Tb, and Africa would be a good place to grow.

According to Fihlo, Brazil has already spent US$200m on innovation and development around ISDB-Tb. The country’s government has also guaranteed $1bn to broadcasters to get on board with the conversion.

Brazil developed its own software for set-top boxes called Ginga. The software is Java-based and Brazil says it fits the SA government’s open-source software agenda.

Fihlo says Brazil’s migration to digital has seen best results in mobile television. The country has created its own mobile TV devices that it hopes will soon find a bigger market.

With mobile penetration high in SA, it is not surprising that Brazil is angling to get its standard developed here.

SA broadcasters are still waiting to hear from the department on what it plans to do with the standard. SADC has reportedly set up a ministerial task team to investigate the standards and report back by August.  — Candice Jones, TechCentral

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  • Lary Bacon

    Just want to add up my full support for a a dvb-t2 demo in Johannesburg. Tks.

  • ANDRÉ SARTURI

    Ministers from Kenya and Tanzania are in favor of adoption of the ISDB-T
    15 Jul 2010 – 09:21

    The Ministers for Communications of Kenya and Tanzania have announced that they will work toward the adoption of the ISDB-T in their countries. The decision was communicated by the Civil House aide, Andre Barbosa, after receiving the endorsement of the technicians assigned to approve the system. Negotiations are progressing well in other African countries.

    After a meeting with officials of both countries, Barbosa confirmed that both the Minister of Communications of Kenya, Samuel Poghisio, as her partner in Tanzania, Peter Msolla, have expressed their interests in the standard nipo-Brazilian. The meeting also attended by representatives of broadcasters.

    Other countries have also shown interest. Equatorial Guinea has asked Brazil to present a proposal for the World Cup in Africa will happen in 2012. The Brazilian government is confident that the 11 countries linked to the Commission for the Development of Southern Africa (SADC) will take their decisions together, starting in September. Several technicians have confirmed the SADC preference for ISDB-T.

  • Eric Camargo

    Techcentral moderators: The above information has been posted TWICE by Andre Sarturi.

  • Dennis

    Mr Barbosa loves traveling around to promote isdb-t, and when he receives a positive smile from a minister in Kenya or Tanzania, that suddenly is worth a news in which that country is willing to adopt isdb-t and bla bla bla. They think it´s a good way of manipulating some people in south Africa by posting nonsense, but it is obvious that Kenya and Tanzania are not changing their decisions now in the midle of the successfull process. DVB-T works really well in Kenya, just like it works really well in Australia and Namibia. Mr. Barbosa is creating in Kenya the same kind of conflict he created here in South Africa, but the difference is that here our engineers have better skills than Mr. Barbosa has imagined and they are pointing that we should move directly to DVB-T2, which is the only second generation standard in the World! Our engineers, many of them represented by SADIBA, are asking our government to promote an open DVB-T2 trial in Johannesburg. The more Mr. Barbosa´s lobby insists in what´s better for through his brazilian point of view, the more we are convinced we really should test DVB-T2 here in South Africa!

    http://www.sadiba.co.za

    There is nothing more democratic than an open door demonstration of DVB-T2 in Johannesburg where gov. officials, broadcasters, industry, and citizen can participate and decide what´s best for South Africa. Isdb-t has done a closed door demonstration already. Now it´s time for DVB-T2 “OPEN DOOR”!!

  • Hoytt C

    ALTECH UEC INKS AUSTRALIAN DEAL

    Durban-based set-top box manufacturer Altech UEC has been appointed to provide set-top boxes (STBs) for an Australian audience.
    The company’s Australian office has been appointed to supply high-definition (HD) satellite STBs for the initial phase of the Australian Viewer Access Satellite Television, or VAST service.

    VAST is a $200 million government-funded service, which launched this month. It is aimed at providing HD satellite television coverage for Australian consumers who fall outside the digital terrestrial broadcast footprint.
    Altech UEC’s contract to provide set-top boxes in Australia comes at a time when local manufacturers are still in the dark about when they can produce decoders for the South African market. Government has yet to decide on a standard to use for local boxes, which could delay switchover to digital by up to a year.

    Nationwide coverage
    Most Australians receive their television services from a network of terrestrial broadcast transmission towers and they will continue to do so after the switch to digital. Viewers who live outside of this coverage will be able to access the same programmes through the VAST service, which will ensure the entire nation is covered.
    A spokesman for communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy says Altech UEC will be the only supplier of satellite set-top boxes during the first VAST rollout. The unnamed spokesman says this will ensure a compliant box is available for the new service in the initial switchover regions of Mildura/Sunraysia and regional South Australia.
    The Altech UEC VAST certified STB model, DSD4121, has been designed specifically for this application and draws on the latest DVB-S2, MPEG4HD hardware and MHEG5 middleware technology. The project was delivered under extremely aggressive timescales to meet the target date of 1 July for the first regional analogue switch-off.
    Altech UEC Australia operations director Russell Futter says: “UEC is extremely proud to have been appointed as the initial supplier for the first VAST rollout and to build on our legacy of having supplied STBs for the original Aurora standard-definition digital TV service in 1998.”
    The company has delivered more than 1.7 million set-tops to the Australian commercial and public digital television industry.

  • ANDRÉ SARTURI

    Brazilian digital TV system will be discussed in São Paulo

    Published: 17/07/2010 14:20 Updated: 17/07/2010 14:42
    On the next Monday (19/07), in Sao Paulo, sea debated the Brazilian digital TV system in the Brazil-Japan Workshop on Digital TV. The Communications Ministry will attend the event, which will be attended by representatives from six African countries: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

    On occasion, will be given lectures that will highlight in particular the economic and technological advantages of the standard nipo-Brazilian Digital TV. This is because the African delegation is part of the working group that will define this year, which system will be adopted by 15 countries of the continent as a standard in digital TV broadcasts. Besides the workshop, is planned visits to universities, television stations and the industrial sector of Santa Rita do Sapucaí in Minas Gerais.

    At the beginning of July, Bolivia announced the option for System Nipo-Brazilian Digital Television, which has also been adopted by Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Philippines, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela, and Brazil, and Japan

    http://www.correiobraziliense.com.br/app/noticia182/2010/07/17/brasil,i=202974/SISTEMA+DE+TV+DIGITAL+BRASILEIRO+SERA+DEBATIDO+EM+SAO+PAULO.shtml

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