One of the key issues for digital television are the contents, which have become development poles. We present the experience of Argentina that can serve as an example for Colombia

Luis Fernando Gutierrez Cano
Jorge Luis Pacheco Orcasitas

Undoubtedly one of the aspects that most concern generated in the new digital ecosystem of television in Colombia and other countries is the generation of new content. Recent research, carried out in different European countries that have already made the analog switch conclude that digital programming function as a faithful replica of their analog predecessors.

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That means that, despite technological advances experienced by the medium with the digitization, still no complete clarity in how to leverage the extensive facilities offered by digital terrestrial television, especially to provide users with content innovators make difference from to analog.

Given these circumstances, many theorists and experts on television, have proclaimed on several fronts, and close a possible end of the half. This is a half truth because, despite these apocalyptic forecasts about the future of television, from digitization, paradoxically, the public still accessing the medium and consuming content on a regular basis.

Survey of Cultural Consumption conducted by the DANE from 2007, in their results 2014 in population of children 5 to 11 years in municipal capitals, shows that about 97% continues to consume television products and in population 12 years on, the percentage reaches 94,5%, that means, roughly, that doses of television contents have not decreased, on the contrary, shows a stable and even increasing trend.

This trend, which is almost universal, detracts, to some extent, those approaches that presaged the early end of TV, facing a strong competitor as the Internet; however, what is seen in the current television situation is that television, in a way, conveniently "she joined" to the Internet to bring their content online, since it is also no doubt, many users are spending more and more hours to surf the net.

The results of the alliance of television with the Internet are papables mainly demonstrated by the high percentage of videographic network traffic, which in some countries occupies just over 40%. For example, new generations are much more Internet television viewing of a traditional TV receiver. This shows clearly that the ways to access television content have varied scanning, with the multiplication of mediation devices with features of Digital Video Recorder or the ability to receive content in all types of screens and mobility ( Prado, 2010).

Then, some of the important issues, ad portholes introduction of DTT in Colombia, are the types of content that will be offered to users (many of them called "digital natives"). Raises questions such as: Who will be in the technical and creative ability to deliver this content and what the innovative and distinctive contribution of this content?

These concerns are latent in the different agents that are part of the Colombian TV ecosystem. And two private channels have begun to take small steps in that direction, from some experimentation, somewhat intuitive, so to speak, in terms of issues to offer "new" users of television in Colombia; Also some cable operators are doing some evidence to that effect, seeking above all a plus for their own content.

Obviously, for your business goals, both private channels such as pay television have at their disposal an optimal technical and economic power capacity to deal with these first steps in the creation of new content in a digital ecosystem.

Contents of public TV
The concern then lies on public television, namely, national, regional and local channels, whose mission, unlike private television and pay television, is totally different and whose objectives are not aimed at profit but to ensure pluralism and to accommodate different civic, religious, political and regional visions, with special emphasis and decidedly on with its educational and cultural.

In that sense, in Colombia still not yet explicitly show clear policies on the development of content for digital television, or from the national, the regional or local. Nor is it absolutely defined, who will addressing these contents; that is, there is an important way to go, and must face a rapid pace, considering that since less than three years for the digital power in the country.

However, one can not leave out that the National Television Authority, ATNV, especially since the 5 board members and the Ministry of ICT, have already begun to address with foundation theme and already, from 2014-2015, they have begun to outline some proposals concerning this important phase of DTT, as content generation from the public.

Also Colombian academia, from different academic, research and production of various television phenomena, gradually has developed different approaches, in order to enrich the discussion against proposals to generate new content in the uncertain digital environment that looming.

Examples to follow
In that proactive and thoughtful contribution continuously conducted from the academy, a close experience that occurred in recent years in Argentina and we believe that can be replicated successfully public television in Colombia against key issues in the development of rescues Digital Television.

Aspects that in no way can be addressed in isolation, but within a fully converged digital context and that countries like Argentina have launched from clear public policies, aimed at creating equal opportunities and reducing technological asymmetries. These are the three fundamental aspects of a "new" television as a model that has already been applied in the south of the continent:

  • Content production: The realization of national content, promoting cultural, sporting, artistic, educational and children's programs.
  • domestic production and employment generation: From boost production equipment required for the transmission and reception of digital signals.
  • Scientific development and training of human resources: From the training of personnel in technical and scientific aspects.

possible difficulties
For the development of these three aspects, however, it should be taken into account almost oligopolistic nature of television in Colombia, with powerful national private channels such as RCN and Caracol, from major economic groups, and the other is the wide penetration of pay TV system that is gaining strength in the country.

Nor it can ignore that historically, production and distribution of content on national television has focused on Bogota, centralistically and high penetration of the content broadcast by the private channels. There's another big challenge, consisting of designing new ways to distribute the new signals available as part of a concentrated commercial television and public television has traditionally been characterized by being highly politicized and without a standard really clear content.

audiovisual technological poles
An alternative to the problems of innovative content that make a difference in the ecosystem of digital television is to apply or replicate what happened in Argentina, and has to do with the creation of what the Argentine Government defined as subprogram Poles Research and Improvement of digital Audiovisual Technologies for the development of content for digital television open.

According to the Advisory Board of the Argentine System of Digital Terrestrial Television, the Ministry of Federal Planning, Public Investment and Services for the development of content for broadcast digital television, what is sought it is to install and strengthen capacities for content production Digital TV for promoting equal opportunities and reducing inequalities between regions.

This program is implemented in Argentina from the division of the country into regions or PAT (Audiovisual Technological Poles), composed of various provinces according to geographical proximity and cultural affinities productive potential. From there, a federal system, led by the national universities and a National Inter-University Council channeling all stakeholders in the audiovisual sector of each community and make way for the creation of audiovisual nodes, these nodes is constructed are integrated local production systems by cooperatives, audiovisual production organizations, SMEs, independent producers, broadcasters and public bodies (audiovisual and technological Poles, 2010, p. 11)

It should be noted that what purports this structure is an interaction between nodes, universities and audiovisual agents local, with the purpose of developing television production in different regions of Argentina, in a fully digital environment.

In Colombia
If Colombia is intended that from the public, the digital television constitutes an inclusive and transmitting technological tool of knowledge, it is very likely that the application, the Argentine example, from consultation, to achieve the articulation of the various government agencies, the ANTV, universities and regional and local audiovisual actors, and thus promote and implement studies and reflections on the model of Poles of Research and Advanced Technologies audiovisual Digital, to apply throughout the Colombian territory, grouped by region, that have as epicenter current regional channels, linking them through universities and community participation as an essential element of the audiovisual sector.

What raises this model, as MLA, is to turn universities as links with civil society and other social institutions, not only to produce but that stakeholders provide their views on what types of content and themes needed approach.

In Colombia this division, decentralize television production, turning it into a more inclusive medium from regions and more effectively in knowledge transfer, with the aim of seeking greater production diversity and plurality of voices. It could be given as follows, by geographical proximity and cultural affinity:

  • San Andres Caribbean region, with the departments of Atlantico, Bolivar, Cesar, Córdoba, La Guajira, Magdalena and Sucre San Andres Island.
  • Santanderes region, with the department of Arauca, Boyaca, Casanare, Santander and Norte de Santander.
  • Bogotá Cundinamarca region, with Bogotá Capital District and municipalities of Cundinamarca.
  • Antioquia region and Eje Cafetero, with the departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Quindio and Risaralda.
  • West region, with the departments of Cauca, Chocó, Nariño and Valle del Cauca.
  • South West region, with the departments of Caqueta, Huila, Putumayo and Tolima.
  • Llanos-Amazonas region, with the departments of Amazonas, Meta, Guainía, Vaupés and Vichada.

From this geographical structure, academic centers that can serve as links to other television actors in the regions are selected.

In that sense, the Argentina experience indicates that technological audiovisual poles in Colombia could also be oriented in four action plans articulated that, in one way or another, would enhance content production Digital TV from the public:

  • Research and development plan: to start from a diagnosis of installed capacity in each pole of existing human resources and needs can be identified.
  • Training Plan: aimed at resolving any issues that are identified as deficiencies in the research and development plan.
  • Technical plan: involves updating, both human and technological components in these audiovisual poles.
  • Pilot Plan: directly related to the production of content and involves the realization of specific production hours, from locally generated projects, which are high for evaluation to decide what can occur.

Undoubtedly, this scheme could lead to the staging of diversity of themes, formats and approaches in different localities of the Colombian geography and many professionals and academics working on the construction of a public service decentralized and national television, with innovative, educational content and diversified.

We believe that everything is a matter of political and institutional will, seeking to fulfill the immense expectations of a truly inclusive for all television service in Colombia. We trust that the agents of DTT in Colombia, especially from the public, establish priorities and specific goals to set models focused on content production and thus work, do not miss the immense possibilities of digital television for the benefit of Colombian millions of users.

Richard St.
Author: Richard St.
Journalist from the University of Antioquia (2010), with experience in technology and economics. Editor of the magazines TVyVideo + Radio and AVI Latin America. Academic Coordinator of TecnoTelevisión & Radio.


Eladio Gutierrez
# Eladio Gutierrez 04-10-2016 06:36
Argentina does not seem to be a model of success in the transition to DTT. At least not indicate their acceptance rates. On the contrary, after a spectacular investment in both transmission centers and buying descodificadore s to give to the most disadvantaged citizens, published data give values ​​of penetration of the TDT frankly very low. Is that so?


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