Mexico says wait and see to standard on digital TV

MEXICO CITY – One month after the FCC announced its adoption of a standard for digital TV for the U.S., Mexico is in no rush to make its own decision about the medium – with adoption of the European standard a possibility.

The Federal Communications Commission’s new digital standard was high on the agenda at the 25th AGM of the North American National Broadcasters Assn. (Nanba), which ran Wednesday-Friday in the Mexican capital.

U.S. broadcasters are keen for Mexico and Canada to adopt the same standard, as the decision of these countries affects border-area broadcasting and the exchange (and hence production) of programming, Nanba prez Larry Loeb told a press conference Friday.

But Cesar Hernandez Espejo, general manager of Mexico broadcast association CIRT, said afterward that Mexican broadcasters had yet to reach a consensus on the issue.

“There’s a European digital system already available, but given our common borders, it would be convenient that we adopt the North American standard. It partly depends on how quickly good equipment is developed in the U.S. and Europe,” Hernandez Espejo told Daily Variety.

“We’re going to be very cautious,” agreed Leopoldo Pena, director of broadcast concessions for leading Mexico broadcaster Televisa.

Pena said Televisa had conducted HDTV trials in the past with Japanese associates, but the technology was analog, and Televisa now only is interested in digital HDTV. Pena added that a full transition to digital transmission in Mexico could take as long as 25 years.

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