Costa Rica changes over to all digital television at the end of the year

Q COSTA RICA  – The changeover to digital signal from analogue does not involve extra charges assures the Ministry of Telecommunications, in the face of consumer doubts.

In recent weeks, the Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Telecomunicaciones (Micitt) – Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications – has received inquiries from people about being told by paid service provides of additional charges due to the analogue block out.

Edwin Estrada, Vice-Minister of Telecommunications, said these claims are unfounded and asked consumers to report any irregularities.

In December, Costa Rica will stop analogue transmission of national television channels and will transmit only a digital signal. The change promised to raise audio and video quality, expand coverage and open the door to interactive services.

Estrada explained that the free and open television signal (signal through an air antenna such as placed at the top of the television known as rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna, for example) does not require any payment, because it is not a charged service such as cable or satellite television.

The air channels are 4, 6, 7, 11, 13, 15, 23, 29, 35, 42 and 49 have already performed digital transmission tests and will in December transmit only a digital signal.

The digital format is the Japanese-Brazilian (ISDB-Tb). Televisions sets based the American (ATSC) will need a converter.

Important to note that the ISDB-Tb and ATSC issue only applies to antenna signals. In the case your television set does not pick up the signal, no need to change it, all that is required is the purchase of a converter.

“Our message to the public is that there is no need to purchase another TV because the technology offers cheaper options. Just buy a signal adapter and you are st,” said Estrada.

The adapters, he said, work with virtually “any TV”, making it a waste to purchase another TV if you already own one.

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