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  • Cuban digital television transition

    Cuba
    Standard: DTMB. Currently being tested by the government.

    Switch-off: 2021
    In May 2013, the Cuban Communication Ministry (ICRT) announced the beginning (in June) of tests in Havana to introduce progressively the digital TV in the island using methodology and equipment donated by China. The second week of November 2015, the ICRT & Lacetel officially released the plan for their digital television transition.

    Lacetel
    http://www.lacetel.cu/

    Lacetel is the official office in charge of overseeing the digital transition in Cuba. All of the channels have been mapped out. Why couldn't we ever had this with analogue TV for Cuba??? To see the DTMB channel assignment list, here it is...
    http://www.lacetel.cu/television-dig...es-utiles.html

    What's crazy about the channel lists on the link above, they have maps that show where the transmitters are located and also what the DTMB channel assignment is. IF you love reading stuff about broadcast TV, you are going to love looking at this stuff coming out of Cuba now. Scrolling through the map listings of channel assignments, it appears everything will migrate to high VHF or UHF. What is surprising is some of the pages show up in English, which leads to the suspicion that a third party source that writes English designed certain pages.

    I can just see some of the southeastern US dxers wanting to get a DTMB receiver for a chance at catching some Cuban tropo.

    Update on information - Lacetel posted a products page on December 18, 2015, showing ALL DTMB capable STB's and DTV's, to date. This list contains reviews and comments of each model. It appears they have tested the models. You can find that page here:
    http://www.lacetel.cu/television-digital/verificacion.html

    Since most of these are coming from China, I would venture a guess a US shopper should be able to find these on eBay or similar.
    Last edited by Jim Thomas; 01-03-2016, 12:24 PM. Reason: Updated information
    Jim Thomas
    Springfield, MO EM37

    "Let's just plop them in front of the TV. I was raised in front of the TV and I turned out TV." - Homer Simpson


    Fall & Winter 2019 dx equipment
    Antennas - Antennacraft MXU59 UHF antenna & home-brew version of Antennacraft VHF Y-10-7-13 antenna @ 25'. Both antennas fed through a Channel Master 7777 30dB pre-amp.
    Tuners - Zenith DTT901 converter box; AirSpy HF+ sdr; Silicon Dust HD Homerun Dual ATSC tuner, using Rabbitears autologger support.

  • #2
    OK, so there's some more information than when I was doing this back in 2014. They also seem to have put on air several more HD transmitters. That xmitter page even has info on ANALOG stations down to the telecentro in the images by province! We now know that the low-V channels in La Habana come from "Televilla". Pinar del Río's Tele Rebelde comes from the La Capitana site, Boniato provides the low-VHF service to Santiago de Cuba, and Cubavisión on 3 from Santa Clara originates from Loma Dos Hermanas.

    No coordinates, but Televilla's received often enough that I dug some up: 23.043575, -82.456314

    There seems to be quite a bit of high-V here, more than I would have expected, but then again Cuba is chock-full of Us, particularly for Multivisión.

    They also provide reviews of antennas. At least some are domestic in origin ("Fábrica de Antenas de Villa Clara").
    Follow En Frecuencia on Medium and Twitter @EnFrecuencia, your Mexican broadcasting blog.

    The Reference Section features the HD Radio map, list of Article 90 reserved band clears, and more.

    Comment


    • #3
      Google Maps may be helpful with some of these. I believe I've located Loma Salón, site of a channel 13 transmitter, at 22.829486N/82.954857W. There are obvious towers (two) at that site.

      FWIW I only see three high-VHF sites. It's the "Dirección" column that lists individual transmitters -- more than one "Municipio" may be served by a single transmitter. It appears that they're multiplexing (very common for DTV outside North America) as fewer than a handful of sites have more than one DTV channel.
      Doug Smith W9WI
      Pleasant View, TN EM66
      http://www.w9wi.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Looks like Cuba's clearing everything above channel 51, just like us. I'll certainly be getting one of those converter boxes considering my prime location for Havana tropo.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by w9wi View Post
          Google Maps may be helpful with some of these. I believe I've located Loma Salón, site of a channel 13 transmitter, at 22.829486N/82.954857W. There are obvious towers (two) at that site.

          FWIW I only see three high-VHF sites. It's the "Dirección" column that lists individual transmitters -- more than one "Municipio" may be served by a single transmitter. It appears that they're multiplexing (very common for DTV outside North America) as fewer than a handful of sites have more than one DTV channel.
          I'm not sure how many channels to a mux they are doing. I do know their service has eight TV channels (the analog 5, Cubavisión Internacional, a kids' channel and a music channel) and six radio streams.
          Follow En Frecuencia on Medium and Twitter @EnFrecuencia, your Mexican broadcasting blog.

          The Reference Section features the HD Radio map, list of Article 90 reserved band clears, and more.

          Comment


          • #6
            Some more recent info on TDT in Cuba:

            http://www.cubadebate.cu/noticias/20...-todo-el-pais/

            HD tests are coming to additional areas. Salón (Artemisa) 47, Villa Clara 32 and Jacán (Matanzas) 51. Interestingly one of the factors that makes this hard is getting 10 Mb/s Internet service to the transmitters to deliver the HD feed. Notably the HD service is an experimental feed, not a simulcast of another network. (It's evident how behind Cuba is just from that bit. In most countries the "special HD channel" phase has ended.)

            In addition the telecentro optouts are starting to appear on digital. On 24 transmitters in six provinces outside of La Habana, telecentros are inserting their programs. They hope to have all telecentros hooked into TDT this year, at least in provincial capitals.
            Follow En Frecuencia on Medium and Twitter @EnFrecuencia, your Mexican broadcasting blog.

            The Reference Section features the HD Radio map, list of Article 90 reserved band clears, and more.

            Comment


            • #7
              I will be going to Cuba in March. I will actually be staying a few blocks from the Habana Libre. It looks like it has quite a few TV and at least one FM signal from there.

              Should be interesting.

              Juan Gualda
              Fort Pierce, FL

              Comment


              • #8
                Juan, if you have time and could do an FM bandscan while there, I would love to get your results. I would like to match a current bandscan with what we have up on the WTFDA FM database.
                Jim Thomas
                Springfield, MO EM37

                "Let's just plop them in front of the TV. I was raised in front of the TV and I turned out TV." - Homer Simpson


                Fall & Winter 2019 dx equipment
                Antennas - Antennacraft MXU59 UHF antenna & home-brew version of Antennacraft VHF Y-10-7-13 antenna @ 25'. Both antennas fed through a Channel Master 7777 30dB pre-amp.
                Tuners - Zenith DTT901 converter box; AirSpy HF+ sdr; Silicon Dust HD Homerun Dual ATSC tuner, using Rabbitears autologger support.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Iowacane View Post
                  I will be going to Cuba in March. I will actually be staying a few blocks from the Habana Libre. It looks like it has quite a few TV and at least one FM signal from there.

                  Should be interesting.

                  Juan Gualda
                  Fort Pierce, FL
                  The Habana Libre has some interesting stuff. Notably channel 12 is what I would call an "intermittent operation" station carrying a TDT test service in digital and Canal Educativo in analog.

                  This article from 2011 talks about the replacement of the tower and mentions that 91.7 COCO, 94.9 Radio Ciudad Habana, and 98.3 Radio Metropolitana broadcast from there. Another source says 93.3 Radio Taíno is also there.
                  Follow En Frecuencia on Medium and Twitter @EnFrecuencia, your Mexican broadcasting blog.

                  The Reference Section features the HD Radio map, list of Article 90 reserved band clears, and more.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'll be happy to.
                    I'll be staying in Vedado, near the US embassy. The casa where I'm staying has a tv as well, so I'll do an AM, FM and TV bandscan. I'll still be close to the Habana Libre so there may be some intermod issues. I'm planning on using the Kaito for FM and the Sangean PRD5 for AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Raymie View Post
                      The Habana Libre has some interesting stuff. Notably channel 12 is what I would call an "intermittent operation" station carrying a TDT test service in digital and Canal Educativo in analog.

                      This article from 2011 talks about the replacement of the tower and mentions that 91.7 COCO, 94.9 Radio Ciudad Habana, and 98.3 Radio Metropolitana broadcast from there. Another source says 93.3 Radio Taíno is also there.
                      Just to update, a reminder that RCiudad moved to 94.7 since that time. I strongly suspect that this was due to R Marti briefly using 94.7. There is also a Taino on 94.7 from parts unknown.

                      And Juan, just a reminder, any info on the power used for 104.7 Mayabeque and/or QTH of that non-Guantanamo 530 Rebelde would be much appreciated!

                      cd

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I just returned from Havana for the third time and I finally got to see digital TV. I think it was canal 48 from the Habana Libre, received at a restaurant in Vedado. It was standard definition and was carrying the usual Cuban tv channels packed onto one digital channel. I kept watch when they would change channels but they were busy and I didn't want to ask them to "play" with the TV. Picture was typical SD but with no static or ghosting typical of Cuban TV, even close.

                        When I return I hope to ask more questions of the Restaurant staff. I also took a picture of the decoder and antenna, but it is on another phone but I will post later. I wish I was able to take a pic of the channel grid when they switched channels.

                        Juan
                        Fort Pierce, FL

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You must be "Juan" in a million, getting go to Cuba! Can I get you to do a FM band scan for me, the next time you are there? I would like to verify some stations that are *suppose* to be on the air in the Habana region.
                          Jim Thomas
                          Springfield, MO EM37

                          "Let's just plop them in front of the TV. I was raised in front of the TV and I turned out TV." - Homer Simpson


                          Fall & Winter 2019 dx equipment
                          Antennas - Antennacraft MXU59 UHF antenna & home-brew version of Antennacraft VHF Y-10-7-13 antenna @ 25'. Both antennas fed through a Channel Master 7777 30dB pre-amp.
                          Tuners - Zenith DTT901 converter box; AirSpy HF+ sdr; Silicon Dust HD Homerun Dual ATSC tuner, using Rabbitears autologger support.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Jim, I jotted down most, but every time I go I seem to get some from outside of Havana. Any in particular you are wondering about ?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              20170326_123859.jpg

                              Digital TV receiver and antenna at Paladar in Vedado, Havana.

                              Comment

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