After five decades dedicated to the development of the television and radio industry in Central America, Edgar Sandoval Aquino has decided to retire to enjoy his family, music and painting.

Richard St.

As a coronation of the studies at the Vocational Technical Institute, a period of supervised practice was required in a company related to the area of ​​studies. Edgar Sandoval Aquino was assigned the company Radio Televisión Guatemala, concessionaire of the 3 television channel, the most important and oldest in the country (1956) and immediately it was also his first job and his entry into the industry.

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He recalled that "Mr. Federico Licht, a legend in Broadcasting engineering, was the one who opened the doors for me. My life was born in television and the profession that would accompany me throughout my life because simultaneously I began my studies in electronics in the engineering faculty of the state university ".

From that time he highlighted important achievements: in 1968 they broadcast the Olympic Games of Mexico live and in color, in 1969 the arrival of man on the moon and in 1970 the soccer world cup in Mexico. He even told an anecdote from that time. In 1968, except for a WFM, they had not received even a single monitor or color television, they knew they transmitted in color but could not appreciate it.

These achievements were possible thanks to a network of microwaves that installed themselves joining both countries, there was still no satellite TV transmission. He stressed that the effort was great and it was worth it, since they were pioneers in Latin America transmitting in color.

"During the 80s some friends invited me to participate in the creation of the first school of communication sciences in a private university. The idea excited me not only to collaborate in the elaboration of the curriculum itself but also to develop the radio and television laboratories. I never thought of myself as a university teacher and yet I stayed for ten years enjoying the gratifying thing that was contributing to the professional training of youth, "he said.

A regional job
The story of Edgar Sandoval Aquino in the broadcast industry is not left alone in his country, Guatemala, since he has had the opportunity to participate in projects in other countries in the region. One of them is Panama. In 1985, when he was already in charge of the Technical Direction, he had to direct the project of the TV channel 5 in Panama, at that time Panavisión del Istmo. Almost a feat, because it was aired in just 3 months. From that time he has fond memories of his work with Rolando Guerra and Tony Black.

In the 90s, the Albavisión group (radio and television) was integrated, which would cover several countries in North, Central and South America. Its field of action grew, also its obligations and expanded the range of activities according to the emergence of new technologies.

"I had the privilege of working with professionals such as Alfredo Flores (Mexico), Álex Sánchez and Luis Abarca (Costa Rica), Alejandro Aguilar (Ecuador), Luis Bordo and Marcel Herrera (Peru), Andrés Riveros (Paraguay), Marcelo Pandolfo and Raúl Peña (Chile) and Ricardo Gálvez and Antonio Rivera (Guatemala). For attending congresses, seminars, research and team studies, I made trips to factories and attended fairs in different places, which led me to know more about 30 countries, "he added.

In the decade of the 90 there is also another anecdote that marked it. Due to the internal conflagration in Guatemala, neither the media were safe. A powerful explosive seriously damaged the transmission plant. The reconstruction, not replacement, of transmitters and towers turned into several laborious weeks. And in the end, the tenacity and ingenuity of the Latin American was more than the frustrations of the panorama and they went on the air with equipment that although they looked like products from Frankenstein's laboratory, worked.

Adoption of new technologies
As everywhere, in Guatemala the constant technological development meant having to face many challenges. In some areas more than in others, but at the end every so often the radio and television stations had to be renewed, but not only in their equipment, but also in the strategies to maintain and improve the audience, outside by means of new services or by expansion and modernization of existing ones.

Our Professional of the Month for this edition, stressed that "perhaps the area of ​​more innovations was always the press on television. From the capture devices: film, videotapes, optical discs, memories, etc., through editing, automation and broadcast formats, until reaching the integration with 3G, 4G technologies and the incoming and outgoing social networks that give today a level of operational complexity unthinkable just ten years ago. " The 3 Canal of Guatemala today is about to inaugurate a press room, including new automation and news systems.

On the technological update in the industry he commented that the production area faces new challenges in terms of the use of IP, HDR, 4K PTP and forces a constant renewal pace that barely gives time to think and make the right decisions, venturing some Sometimes with devices and equipment without enough field testing to consider them completely reliable.

"In addition, behind one comes another development in a race that almost does not give time to breathe. This is the industry in which we operate. It's like swimming against the current: if you stop for a moment you do not even stay, you go backwards. "

Your vision of the future
For Edgar Sandoval Aquino, by now television is no longer seen as an isolated business. It is rather the convergence of platforms of different technologies that focus on a common goal: reach different population niches impossible to achieve from a single medium.

"That said, it seems simple, but at the same time there is a need for specialized people to handle them. For this reason, during the last decade we put our efforts in a group within the technical area, not only for IT but also for other inescapable related subjects. We name it as the Digital Applications group and its range of action covers such diverse activities that range from network design, administration of news and marketing systems, to the programming of DTT transmitter drivers. "

He also reflected on a recurring question in the industry, how far will television as we know it? Since he started in this medium he has never seen him stop or get anywhere. He assured that it is an endless process, in which he only had to live a stretch, very important that because he knew black and white television, then color, stereo, satellite, digital and 3D, but it is a stretch at the end and What is now only part of a larger world in which they converge, are opposed or complement so many technologies that make the profession more and more interesting.

Ad portas of your retirement
Although he had a quiet childhood alongside his parents and his two sisters, his passage from adolescence to maturity, he did have real emotions due to the world events of the 60 decade, like the Beatles, the man on the moon, the Vietnam War, the hippies and, unfortunately, social outbreaks everywhere.

In his country, an internal armed conflict that would have bled him for more than 34 years began, were difficult times. He coincided with his beginnings in the world of electronics, studies at the Technical Vocational Institute and also his main pastimes: music and drawing.

"As half the world should have done it, three friends and I formed a rock band, with the special circumstance that, due to lack of economic resources, we also had to be the instrument manufacturers, as well, guitars and amplifiers came out of the workshops of the institute, product more of our enthusiasm that of our ability ", remembered.

Today, after five decades, it is in its retirement phase of the industry, which has dedicated the last few years exclusively to activities in Guatemala: 8 TV matrix channels and its 70 repeaters, 11 FM matrix radios and its 30 repeaters, several production studios, three news programs and a news channel of 24 hours with its mobile digital and satellite microwave units, plus its integration and interaction with other digital media.

"I have a big family, not in number but in the enormous strength that we provide. My wife gave me two children, also immersed in technology, and they gave me two grandchildren and two granddaughters. Music and painting surround the environment, as well as the disposition to technology. There is no doubt that life rewards us in the best way. It is truly beautiful to see the transcendence of our biological and cultural legacies, "he concluded.

Richard St.
Author: Richard St.
Editor
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.

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