From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Despite the fact that DTT broadcasts launched in Brazil only three months ago, there is widespread dissatisfaction regarding take-up. Broadcasters and manufacturers have accused the government of not fullfilling its promises, as well as overtaxing the industry. On the other hand, manufacturers have come under attack from the government for putting on sale few and expensive set-top boxes. The high price of the STBs resulted in only 10,000 households in the Greater Sao Paulo area being able to access the new transmissions. A TV set with an embedded digital box costs up to $7,500.
Digital TV broadcasts will be extended to the cities of Belo Horizonte, BrasÃlia, Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador by July of this year, with a national analogue switch off set for June 2016.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian government has authorised manufacturers of TV sets and digital receivers to install a blocking device in order to prevent the recording of content, such as movies, soap operas and football matches. However, Communications Minister, HÃ©lio Costa, said that it remains to be decided whether this blocker will be used in practice. Since the issue still splits the ministers making up the Committee for the Development of Digital Television, the government has decided to move in stages.