Cuba? Digital television? Why yes!
You might recall that Cuba is using the Chinese DTMB standard, but there was still a lot we didn't know. Channel spacing and allotments, whether Cuba actually had DTV on the air and other matters were all unknown.
Well, I hit the jackpot between the ICRT site and that of state organism LACETEL, the self-described "Institute for Telecommunications Research and Development". Here's what we now know, both about DTV and changes to Cuban broadcast services:
- Cuban DTMB will be using NTSC channels in high VHF (7-13) and UHF (14-51) as outlined in the standards (which are in English!). All currently assigned transmitters are on UHF. A list of these transmitters is available; only two are set up for HD at this time.
- And to receive these signals via tropo you'll need a converter box. Pretty much all of the available equipment is being made by Chinese firms. I have no idea how someone in the US would go about procuring one legally.
- The DTV service includes three new state channels: Cubavisión Internacional, Canal Infantil (kids' shows) and Canal Clave (music), as well as weather and data broadcasts and six radio streams. Canal Clave does, however, mean the end of the music channel that's taken over CE in past summers.
- Speaking of which, Canal Educativo 2 now simulcasts Telesur 20 out of 24 hours a day (airing its own shows only from 4:30 to 8:30 pm).