In face of the Government's recent decision to accelerate Digital TV project, the Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, Felipe Morandé, stated that if such decision were passed in 2011, DTT coverage might reach the 85% of the country in 2014. Such term is shorter than the initially foreseen by the Government, who had forecasted such coverage for 2015. The analog blackout might take place in 2016. Morandé believes hat the Soccer World Cup in Brazil will foster the purchase of TV sets fitted with ISDB-T tuner. So far, 200,000 Chilean households have acquired TV sets and decoders for DTT.
La Tercera newspaper informed that in Chile there are seven million TV sets. According to estimates of the industry, replacing such devices would involve an investment of about USD 2 millions. Moramdé explained that renewal rates are high and they might increase with digital TV offer in the whole country. Sony calculates that in 2010 about 150,000 devices fitted with tuner will be sold in Chile. The Korean LG announced that so far 20,000 units have been sold.
With the purpose of widening coverage, Chilean channels do not discard the possibility to invest jointly. According to Enzo Yacometti, Director of the state-owned channel TVN "there are different options, but nothing has been decided yet. The analog network is deployed by each channel, but having a joint network in the main points rather than replicating the seven networks seems to be a good idea".
In order to provide the 99.9% of the Chilean territory with Digital TV, 200 towers and antennas are needed. "We cannot make investments without being certain of wat we are going to do with them", Yacometti added. According to the executive, TVN has already invested USD 39 millions over a five-year term. On the other hand, the Chilean Sub Secretary of Telecommunications, Jorge Atton, pointed out that those channels that belong to the National Association of Television will need to invest about USD 350 millions to implement DTT in such country. According to Chilevisi?n General Manager, Mario Conca, such figure will amount to USD 60 millions. The analog blackout was originally scheduled for 2018.
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