Migration to Digital Television: Concentration or democratization of media?

7 May

Publicado en la “Journal of Free Software and Free Knowledge

Charles Escobar, Asociación de Software Libre, Ecuador,
Abstract—The migration from analogue to digital television raises a number of questions and alternatives to be analyzed by the state and civil society, in order to avoid the risk concentration of television media under a few firms and to make this technology transition into an opportunity to democratize access to the media and allow the entry of new players who can play a productive role in such democratization.

In the last decade, the world is witnessing the migration from analogue to digital television, for this, each region and/or country has decided to adopt the proposed standards, be they, the American ATSC, Japanese (Brazilian) ISDB- T (B), European DVB-T (2) or Chinese DTMB.
Regardless of the standard adopted, one of the main features that this technology considered, is the ability to increase independent signals that can be transmitted in the same bandwidth, for example, in the segment of radio spectrum in which currently emits a single signal from an analog channel, depending on the standard used, you can insert 5 or more separate video signals, into a single digital channel. For the viewer, these signals will be received and interpreted as 5 separate channels.
The incursion of Digital Television includes not only technical considerations but also legal, social and political, even geopolitical, where is necesary  define the technology to use, as will the transition of current concessions to new concessions, the time set for the migration, what is known as the digital switchover, the import policies of the new receivers, and even social policies to facilitate access to this technology to lower-income groups.