Rio de Janeiro readies for digital TV

The president of Brazil’s National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel), Juarez Quadros, delivered in Rio de Janeiro the 700,000th TDT kit, which are being distributed to beneficiaries of the government’s social plans. Quadros confirmed that Rio de Janeiro and 17 other municipalities will switch off analogue TV on October 27.

In total, 1.25 million kits will be distributed in that region, so more than 50% of the total has already been delivered. At the end of August, a survey by Ibope showed that in Rio de Janeiro 63% of households already had digital signal. The minimum required for the analog switch off is 90%. Although Seja Digital, the entity in charge of distribution, has the capacity to deliver 150,000 kits per week, the average delivery is 100,000, Anatel said in a statement. According to the regulator, the prices of kits in the market are already falling. Initially, they cost R$ 150 (USD 47) and today the average price is R$ 80 (USD 25).

Be Digital has already distributed more than 5 million kits in Brazil. The plan is to reach seven million STBs delivered by the end of 2017, and a similar figure in 2018, according to news portal Teletime.

On September 27, two new capitals shut down analog TV in Brazil: Salvador (Bahia) and Fortaleza (Ceará). In both cities, about 93% and 92% of households, respectively, were prepared for the transition.