Chile will adopt the Japanese digital television standard ISDB-T, which is high-definition capable, joining neighboring Peru and Argentina, President Michelle Bachelet said Monday.
"Following a rigorous study and consulting with several universities, we have decided to adopt the ISDB-T standard," Bachelet told reporters at the presidential palace.
Santiago's decision came after it had also considered US and European standards. Peru adopted the standard in April and Argentina did so in August. In Brazil, it was been adapted for high definition in 2006.
The Japanese standard "suits Chile the best, allows for better quality digital television reception, given the characteristics of our country," Chile's telecommunications regulator Subtel said in a statement.
The undersecretariat said the transition to high definition was "the biggest change in television of the past 30 years."
In Chile, which underwent its first television revolution 30 years ago when it switched from black and white to color, more than 65 percent of households only have access to terrestrial television and not cable.
"By establishing digital television, households will see a major improvement in the quality of sound and image, and eventually the possibility to gradually access new services and interactive applications," Subtel said.
The Japanese standard will be applied in Chile in 2010, but Chileans will be given several years before analog television is phased out, so that they can exchange their sets for new ones equipped with the necessary technology.
(c) 2009 AFP
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