I thought I would post an *update* of the transition to digital TV in the Central American countries. This is kind of a addendum to Raymie's OPMA Mexico TV/FM news forum. In my research for FM News for the WTFDA FM database, I continue to come across news stories about the digital television transition in Central America. It appears the digital television transition is happening at a faster pace in African countries than it is in the Central American countries.
- El Salvador has been in something of a turmoil with deciding on a standard for their digital TV. In March 2009 the ATSC committee announced that El Salvador had chosen the ATSC standard, but have since withdrawn that decision. The El Salvador government is concerned with what their neighboring countries have decided. They were wanting to get started by 2018, but they have had a few roadblocks along the way. El Salvador is currently testing ATSC, ISDB-T and DVB. The latest news on the process was posted January 12, 2017-
- Meanwhile, in Costa Rica, analog TV will cease on December 15 of this year. Yes, less than a year left of analog TV in Costa Rica!! Costa Rica has selected ISDB-T for their standard. The state channel, "Canal 13", was the first one to make the transmission using the digital TV technology, in March 2012. You can read the latest here...
- Panamá has chosen the DVB-T standard. Panamá chose the DVB-T standard in August 2010 and began the digital television transition in September 2011 in phases. The anticipated transition completion is for the end of 2017. The implementation of digital TV in the country was divided into four phases, each of them during 18 months. The 1st phase started in Sept 2011 and ended in March 2013 providing the provinces of Panamá and Colón with digital TV transmission. The analog signal will remain on until the 4th phase is complete and then all analog signals will be turned off. The 2nd phase will include the provinces of Coclé, Herrera, Los Santos and Veraguas. The 3rd will include the provinces of Chiriquí and Bocas de Toro. The 4th will take digital TV to the province of Darién. ASEP, the Panamá license authority has put up a website to help the consumer understand the transition...
- Nicaragua indicated on August 20, 2010 they would probably go with the ISDB-T standard. On August 4, 2015, they made it official when the president of Telcor signed an official statement that the ISDB-T standard had been selected. Their transition schedule has not been made public yet.
- Guatemala announced the ISDB-T standard on May 31, 2013. Their timetable for the transition is yet to be announced.
- Honduras, in 2007, announced they would use the ATSC standard, but later changed their mind. They announced in September 2013 they would use the ISDB-T standard. Their timetable is yet to be determined.
- In Belize, the ITU has confirmed the Belize government has not even began researching digital television to establish a standard.