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  1. #1
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    Default Raymie's Mexico Beat

    Here you'll find various tidbits on what's moving in the complex world of Mexican television—and some opinion too.

    OPMA is changing

    Part of that massive telecom law that was promulgated on July 14 was the creation of the new Sistema Público de Radiodifusion del Estado Mexicano (Mexican Public Broadcasting System, or SIPREM). This organism will replace OPMA like the IFT replaced the CFT — and it will be expanding nationally (it's still a head scratcher that Mexico's national public services weren't available across most of the country prior to OPMA, but that's changing fast). The change still won't formally happen until a president is named and an organic statute is drafted.

    OPMA's website already hints at the conversion, and their social media accounts have more to say about it. I'm expecting some callsign changes, most notably to OPMA's low-band analog stations XHOPOA and XHOPME. They'll also be getting a boatload of new concessions* to go nationwide.

    *Yes, concessions. All permits will be converted to "public use" or "social use" concessions within the next year, part of the same massive telecom law.
    Last edited by Raymie; 07-28-2014 at 11:01 PM.

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    IFT seems to be overhauling TDT campaign

    The IFT put this YouTube ad up on Friday. It reminds me a lot of the American DTV conversion materials.

    Meanwhile, a couple observations I wanted to relay:

    #1. Between Campeche, Chiapas, Tabasco, Quintana Roo and Yucatán—that's five states with 11 million total people—there was only ever one analog station on UHF. This station is Chiapas state network relay XHITC-33 Comitán de Dominguez. For a lot of viewers in rural parts of Mexico, there will be new antennas in the future to get adequate UHF reception.

    #2. Something was pointed out in the Mexico TV forum I follow about Gala TV. In one thread, someone referred to XHY as a Gala TV "franchise" (a word I've pretty much never seen in Mexican television!). In another post in the same thread (which is about the sign-on of digital stations in Mérida and has gone on for quite some time), we got this:

    "I think Televisa is applying changes in licensing out part of its channels to companies like Grupo SIPSE [XHY and XHCCU-13 Cancún]. I think this is good because it's kinda like the United States in which a licensee gets the rights to a certain signal, something we're seeing in smaller Mexican cities.

    With the new law [Telecom Law], for instance, we're seeing new options for Gala TV in various cities across the Mexican Republic, such as Acapulco [XHAP-2], Cd. Juárez [XEJ-5], Mérida, Q. Roo, Laguna [XELN-4], etc., etc." Posts in the thread mention that XHY was the first of Televisa's local stations to switch to the Gala TV format entirely, on December 2, 2013, and XHCCU (previously known as TVCUN) went along with it, but that their programming continued to be mostly the same (including chunks of the day where XHY ran Foro TV programs).

    The rest of the explanation requires a bit more background. Networks with a certain coverage reach are declared "national" and must be offered by Televisa/Azteca to cable/satellite companies who must carry them. Televisa's 2 and 5 and Azteca 7 and 13 are these networks; notably Gala TV does not have enough national reach to meet this threshold. The idea is probably that most viewers will still need an antenna to watch Gala TV (and thus their local programs) even if they have Dish or Sky.

    XHY-TDT (25) just signed on July 9 though the station still needs to make some other changes to broadcast an HD signal.

    #3. I also ran into some sad news about the end of some helpful ID material on XHY: Aquí en el 2 and its Cancún counterpart both ended their runs at the end of 2013 (on December 24). The morning show had aired 4,080 times over 17 years. The replacement is called "Calle 60".

    #4. A station in Mérida may have trouble making the transition: Yucatan's state station (which is a concession) XHST-13. Finances are the problem. The station is licensed for 42 kW but is only putting out 5 kW according to what I'm reading.

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    XHCNL-3

    So much mystery, so few words. I've already cracked the code of XHCNL's other low-band shadow, channel 2 in Saltillo, which is actually licensed as a relay of XEFB.

    But this case is still taking time to solve. I'm learning of other shadows thanks to conversations with people in Monterrey and Saltillo, but nobody can figure out XHCNL-3.

    What I do know is that if you get Monterrey by tropo, you may want to watch out for additional shadows, which the users do know exist:

    XHWX-8 (apparently this XHWX-8 repeats the national Azteca 13 signal?)
    XHAW-13
    XHFN-50 (Guadalupe, N.L.: [25°38'25.5", -100°11'59.5"] — coordinates known from document specifying TDT operations for the shadow channel)
    XHCNL-60

    I'll keep talking and we'll keep looking.

    I have solved another shadow channel that I was unsure of. This one is XHDI-6 Col. Los Remedios, Durango (we've been specifying an incorrect location).

    This station is at Durango's antenna farm along with sister shadow XHDUH-24. Main stations XHDI-5 and XHDUH-22 are on Cerro las Minitas which is west of town (and also is a silver, lead and zinc mining site!). As Televisa has done in places like Monterrey, Puebla and Querétaro where it has shadow channel sites closer to the cities, it's been building TDT facilities there before at the main sites.

    Coordinates are [240112.35, -1044056.28].

    This one made me go XH-DUH (heh) because I had run into this mountain before while writing a Wikipedia article on a Durango TV station.

    Also: color me impressed at the Facebook presence of 100-watt XHGSM-4 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.

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    XHCNL-3 Part II

    Nobody can figure out our XHCNL-3. Nobody. Several people are trying but not coming up with anything.

    Worse yet, there's something that might be heading in the right direction but finding this thing will be a nightmare. Translated:

    "Now that I think about it, there are communities and ejidos out of the reach of TV stations and their shadows where there are very low-powered transmitters to offer some television service.

    Back to Galeana [Nuevo León], in the ejido 18 de Marzo ... there's a community transmitter on channel 10 that broadcasts MTY Televisión during the day and Canal de las Estrellas in the evening, serving five nearby communities and some 3,000 people.

    The only shadow that is received there is shadow XHWX-4 from Galeana."

    This XHCNL-3 is my greatest challenge yet.

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    XHCNL-3 Part III

    I'm really thinking Cadereyta or Sabinas Hidalgo if this station isn't a community TV translator.

    It can't be Montemorelos, Linares or Galeana because Azteca has channel 4s there. (Notably XHWX-4 Montemorelos has no offset while the other XHWX-4s have a minus offset!) Sabinas Hidalgo is spaced far enough to other channel 3s (Piedras Negras at 140 miles, Corpus Christi* at 190) to probably have a channel 3.

    At this point it's probably time to write Televisa Monterrey.

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    The SCT announced today that the second phase of the digital television distribution program, to begin this month, will include the following areas:

    Ciudad Juárez
    Mexicali
    Monterrey
    Laguna/Torreón
    "Occidente-Bajío", including Guadalajara, León, Querétaro, Celaya, Morelia Mich. and San Luis Potosí (see this map)

    The first phase, already complete, included Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa/Matamoros.

    Per the new digital television policy currently up for public review, the IFT will give at least a month's notice before an analog shutoff is performed in a particular area. It will also consider ongoing elections when making such decisions. The threshold that must be met to perform a shutoff is penetration of 90% or higher of "low resource" homes as defined by Sedesol, the Mexican state welfare agency.

    Most areas of the country will be having distributions in August 2015. January 2015 will see distributions in central Mexico, such as the Distrito Federal, Puebla, Edomex, Morelos and Tlaxcala.

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    An interesting discussion came up about new types of IDs in Mexico.

    You might recall back in May and again last month the "blue-box" ID for XEZ-TDT that was caught by Mike Perron: "XEZ-TDT Canal 29 Querétaro (ZAMORANO)". In addition, XHBC has been caught with a custom ID style, and XERV and XHAB have some of the smallest IDs known to date (both of which list their DTVs).

    But it appears that it is not just Zamorano, Mexicali or Matamoros that's changing. New IDs have been spotted in Mexico City and in all-digital Tijuana. All of these IDs are using RF channels for the digital stations. The Tijuana ones are on a blue background. There are also now known text IDs upper left at the top and bottom of the hour on the Televisa Mexico City stations, with the DTVs running different IDs: "XHTV-TV, Canal 4, Ciudad de México" versus "XHTV-TDT Canal 49, MÉXICO, Distrito Federal". XEW's is known to be on a RED background (and is believed to be running only on XEW-2 itself!). I am unsure of how XHTV's or XHGC's look.

    I posted in the thread (using some of Danny's historic DX photos as examples of ID types) and learned that a third, high-VHF station is using the black box IDs: XHCHZ-13 Chihuahua, Chih. (with [XHCHZ-13]). Apparently XHFI-5 is also running a somewhat unusual ID which I've asked for photos of.
    Last edited by Raymie; 08-10-2014 at 05:56 AM.

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    On identifications

    Well, another user decided to help and put up the IDs mentioned for XEW and XHTV. These are only running in Mexico City, which may make identifying the real XEW-2 possible!, but they are small.

    He seems to also live in Campeche, so we get to see an ID for Azteca's XHCAM-2+ (50 kW) (in kinda tiny font, but with its offset!). He also linked to a black box ID style (just replaced in 2013!) for another Televisa station, "XHCPA C8" (in Cd. del Carmen) and a normal ID (with an odd format) for XHAN-12 Campeche ("XHAN-TV C 12(-) CAMPECHE, CAMP.")

    I have some other news but it merits its own thread.
    Last edited by Raymie; 08-13-2014 at 03:14 AM.

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    Meet SIPREM

    August 13 will mark 30 days since the promulgation of the new telecom law and the accompanying Mexican Public Broadcasting System Act (Ley del Sistema Público de Radiodifusión del Estado Mexicano), and the changes are happening already online.

    @OPMAMX's tweets are protected now while the domain opma.gob.mx redirects to spr.gob.mx.

    The IFT today also had its monthly commission meeting and another extraordinary session in which it approved endorsements (refrendos) to permits to 19 television stations of the governments of Sonora, Nuevo León and Michoacán. Given the number of stations involved I'm thinking that (barring the idea that their permits didn't need to be renewed right away) Sonora and Nuevo León may not convert some of their exceedingly low-powered transmitters to digital. Notably XEWH is a concession.

    EDIT:

    The affected stations are:

    Nuevo León: XHNSA, XHHGR, XHHRR, XHCLL
    Sonora: XHADO, XHCPS, XHHCH, XHMDS, XHNCO, XHNGE, XHOQT, XHSAS, XHSIC, XHSSE, XHSYT, XHSYO, XHSGE, XHVPA
    Michoacán: XHMPU
    Last edited by Raymie; 08-17-2014 at 04:30 PM.

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    Multicasting is making its slow way through the country. Stations need to get IFT approval to start it (and Televisa would have to pay the IFT to do it), so we haven't seen many. Azteca's been putting Proyecto 40 on the DTs of its big-city Azteca 13 stations, OPMA's an all-multicast network (except for the partially built but new-on-air Aguascalientes station), and some of the state networks have shown interest (like XHCDM Mexico City). Of course, XETV doubles as a Canal 5 relayer this way too.

    Add another state network to the list: Jalisco. XHGJG Guadalajara will carry four digital subchannels focusing on news, culture, the Congress and the judicial system of the state of Jalisco starting in late November. What's odd is that the station (analog 7, listed as DT 40) is branding the channels as 25.x (!?!?). This is unusual because the only RF 25 in the state of Jalisco is Azteca 13 Puerto Vallarta (XHGJ-TDT). If you want to be further confused someone else saw them on DT 47 (!!).

    Is their DT 25, 40 or 47? This makes no sense whatsoever.

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