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Cablegate: Chile Selects Japanese Digital Tv Standard

VZCZCXYZ0004
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSG #0874 2592059
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 162058Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0049
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0018
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 0017
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0012
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0001
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 0017

UNCLAS SANTIAGO 000874

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECPS ECON PREL TSPL CI
SUBJECT: CHILE SELECTS JAPANESE DIGITAL TV STANDARD

REF: SANTIAGO 818

1. (U) On September 14, Chile announced its decision to adopt the
Japanese digital TV standard (ISDB-T). Minister of Transportation
and Telecommunications Rene Cortazar cited the quantity of
channels, signal quality, and mobile features as the key factors in
the decision.

2. (U) Chile joins Brazil, Peru, Argentina, and Venezuela on the
list of South American countries that have adopted the Japanese
standard. The decision came after an intense lobbying effort by
the Japanese government and Brazil. Six Chilean Congressman
traveled to Japan to learn about the standard and Brazilian
President Lula raised the issue with President Bachelet.

3. (U) Chile still must pass legislation to fully implement
digital TV, but broadcasters will be permitted to transmit digital
signals on a trial basis. Full transition from analog to digital
is expected to take 8-10 years.

4. (SBU) Comment: The Embassy worked closely with Washington
agencies and the ATSC forum to support the U.S. HDTV standard,
including a recent demarche by the Ambassador (reftel). But it
appears that Brazil and Japan consistently raised this at a higher
level and persuaded other Southern Cone neighbors to also adopt the
Japanese standard. We suspect the fact that Argentina and Peru
joined with Brazil may have had at least as much influence on the
Chilean decision as did the technical factors cited by Cortazar.
End comment.
SIMONS

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