Brazil has signed an agreement to use a Japanese system for all domestic digital TV broadcasts, rejecting competing European and US alternatives.
The deal, the first success outside Japan for the Terrestrial Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting (ISDB-T) standard, could be worth up to US$20b, according to media reports.
ISDB-T can carry a wide variety of signals, including ordinary TV, radio and high definition TV.
Among general purpose digital TV standards, ISDB-T is regarded as the most suited to mobile reception. The standard also allows for data transmission, which could provide an electronic program guide, for example.
Japan's broadcasters have been transmitting programmes in ISDB-T since early 2004. The technology was developed by the country's oldest and largest broadcaster, NHK, in cooperation with hardware manufacturers.
Japanese officials believe that the bridgehead established in the Brazilian market will encourage other nations in Latin America to follow suit. This will benefit ISDB-T equipment makers, the overwhelming majority of which are Japanese.
However, the technology has come under criticism for the relatively high cost of reception equipment.
Sales of digital TVs, set-top boxes and other digital TV equipment in Brazil could reach US$20b over the next 10 years, according to the Manichi Daily News.
Japan wins digital TV deal in Brazil
By Simon Burns on Jul 4, 2006 9:45AM