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Challenges of DTT in Colombia (II)

In the second installment of the special Challenges of the implementation of Digital Terrestrial Television in Colombia, the authors address the issue of digital convergence, understood in topics such as communication, information and innovation.

By: Luis Jorge Orcasitas Pacheco. Luis Fernando Gutierrez Cano*

In the first installment called Challenges of the implementation of Digital Terrestrial Television in Colombia, the professors of the Pontifical Bolivarian University, Luis Jorge Orcasitas Pacheco and Luis Fernando Gutierrez Cano, referred to the new possibilities of services, content and the best way to explore digital television from the commercial, cultural and educational fields.

In this second installment called: Digital convergence, Communication information and innovation, it is described – from the analysis of the transformations of communicative practices, information and innovation in digital environments – the ways in which multiplatform television broadcasts will be developed and how this process affects or determines the offer of content and services of Colombian digital television from the way digital television should relate aspects such as communication, information and innovation.

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To start this analysis, let's look at the following graph, where it is appreciated how from the environment that planets the TV Digtal, communication acquires great importance as a system of transmission of knowledge and, therefore, as a means of influencing the way of thinking of the human being. The role of communication in this sense is to focus on the development of products and production processes, conveying and informational and aesthetic organization of the television medium.

Role of communication

From this perspective, the new communicative elements in the digital age (recognition of the environment and cognitive) allow individuals and societies to be located from a certain time in the physical and virtual processes and spaces carried out and inhabited by them, as members of a group and / or autonomous individual, within what is known as the digital age. The communicative elements in this digital dynamic have to do; according to Barbero (1987), with the video-technological, urban and communicative mediations carried out in each of the individuals.

These elements configure communicative maps that function as structures sensitive to constant changes, which are analyzed by researchers in the field of communication. For the approach of the current processes of the communicative environment of our societies and their members in the face of technological advances, two ways of approaching arise:

The agents involved in the audiovisual sector and the technological and material elements that occur in this field.
The impact on the communicative field of technological advances in the environment of society and the reconfiguration of codes of thought, reasoning, language and location with the social and natural environment.

The TVD should address the typologies of information, the genres and formats of digital productions, analyzing their trajectory, describing the phases of their elaboration, the modes of reception and the possible and viable interactivities, trying to identify their specific scope in the fields of their action. It investigates the production, generation, conveying and interactivity for the construction of meaning and generation of knowledge, including the different television products, in addition to considering the contributions of information sciences, communication sciences (Information and Knowledge Society), education and digital technologies for the analysis of media and content in digital television.

Information and product development

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The information aims to develop products and solutions based on information supported by digital television.  DTT should address the potential of available technology for the creation, improvement and use of platforms. In the same way. It progressively investigates what is related to the flow of information transfer, addressing the generation and construction of specific knowledge, the processes of technological innovation in the production and transmission of content by digital television and convergent and emerging technologies in the area.

Technological and social innovation

In this sense, technological innovation is oriented to the development of technologies for digital television, with emphasis on innovation in software and hardware.  The TVD will necessarily have to face the potentialities of generation, convergence and application of the technologies, used in the value chain of digital television, that is, in the production of content, programming, distribution, delivery and consumption.

For the development of social innovation in TVD in Colombia we propose to incorporate -from the academy- the innovation model formulated by Juan Miguel Aguado, Bernard Scott and Eva Buchinger, on technology and social complexity, where society is considered within a framework of technological innovation from the inclusion of the individual and society with the social construction of technology.

This model allows actors committed to the fundamental aspects of digital television, developments in technologies based on an innovation that dynamizes, from academia, research and development in the inclusive audiovisual medium, which guarantees access, use and appropriation to technology from the different instances that participate in the social dynamics, as they are State-Business-University-Society.

All the actors would correspond to an accurate implementation of TVD and DTT in Colombia:

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Research projects in areas such as production, management, media convergence from the analysis of the new possibilities of the medium.
Software proposal in order to potentiate the techniques and methodologies necessary for the development of applications and programs through a topic of interest.
Development of content supported by new media platforms.
New business from concepts, methodologies and practical foundations for the achievement of innovation proposals.
Proposal of convergence with other media and with other services and / or applications to achieve an integrality of communicative messages.

Quality in the contents

The analog blackout in Colombia will have consequences in various sectors of the country, starting with the Colombian State itself and dependent agents; one of the efforts that must be made in this process of migration to digital must be aimed at preparing citizens, producers, filmmakers, Faculties of Communication and other agents, a process that is known as "digital literacy", since TVD and DTT will bring with them new protocols, new models and new habits of television consumption by the whole society.

Merging DTT and quality is not only referring to television content itself; there are other factors to take into account so that a final result is given according to the expectations that are generated with this technology. The contents are undoubtedly important, but along with them we must also take into account other aspects such as economic, legal, ethical, etc., which will favor or prevent the development or not of a true Colombian television system of quality.

With the digital television service, many families in the country will have potential access to the Internet, making it a universal service that will be able to simplify the services of the Information and Knowledge Society (SIC) to all people in a more effective and, possibly, more economical way. Bustamante (2001, p.62) points out four categories of channels that digital television can offer:

"New national and even regional and local generalist channels, different from the traditional ones. Thematic channels, increasingly "monographic" and adjusted by genres (cinema, entertainment, information, culture, sports, music, etc.), by themes and by target audiences," including women, children, LGBT groups, ethnic groups, etc. Channels oriented to hobbies (motoring, fishing, cooking), and increasingly linked to professional interests (lawyers, doctors, languages, etc.). Interactive or semi-interactive services, linked to thematic channels or services: tele banking, tele shopping, tele employment, tele education, travel, etc.".

From this perspective, the adoption and viability of DVT and DTT in Colombia depends on the interrelation of four specific points:

Speed of the analog blackout, that is, compliance with the schedule proposed at the time by the CNTV and now in charge of the ANTV.
The attractive offer of content, both channels and complementary services (interactivity).
Democratization of the service (decoder plan).
Generation of income to the agents of the system (channels, operators, State).

The TVD offers its different audiences, a high quality of image and sound, along with other interactive services that will enrich the experience of users. The TVD is a television in digital technology, within a totally digital environment, which involves the digital production of content, digital emission and reception of the signal with an offer of content of higher quality of reception and interactive services that give it added value such as:

Premium channels, audio channels, video store (service with charge per event);
Pay Per View PPV, games (service with monthly charge),
Repetitions (service with monthly charge),
Personal Video Recorder PVR.
Videoclub (service with monthly charge), HD high definition, interactive guide, encyclopedia, top channels, reminders, favorite channels, blocked channels, parental control, searches or mail.

The digitization of television is related to the introduction of new interactive services, similar to those offered by the Internet and greater multiplicity of content.

Wait for the third installment: Interactivity and social appropriation of television
In the next installment we will answer the question: what do we mean by interactivity? and how from DTT Colombia should create access, use and appropriation not only social but also technological?


Barbero, quoted by José Carlos Lozano Rendón, p. 194 in Theory and research of mass communication. Pearson Education, 2007. Mexico.

Bustamante, E. (2001). Information Society: The reign of conservative utopias., Universidad Complutense de Madrid. In: Communication, History and Society.: Homage to Alfonso Braojos. Cataloguing Secretariat of Publications. University of Seville. History and Geography Series, number 56.

Aguado, Juan Miguel; Bernard Scott and Buchinger Eva. (2009) "Technology and Social Complexity. Technology and Social Complexity". Editorial Editum Ideas.

Social Communicator-Journalist Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana. Master in Theory and Practice of Creative Documentary, Autonomous University of Barcelona. Professor of the Faculty of Social Communication-Journalism at the Pontifical Bolivarian University. Professor of the Faculty of Audiovisual Communication, Jaime Isaza Cadavid Polytechnic. Audiovisual director and documentary filmmaker. Member of the Research Group on Urban Communication-GICU, Faculty of Social Communication-Journalism of the Pontifical Bolivarian University.

Social Communicator Journalist from the Pontifical Bolivarian University, specialist in television from the Javeriana University and Master in education from the Tecnológico de Monterrey. University professor, producer, director and television programmer. In his professional performance he was programmer of Canal Capital, director of Arriba mi Barrio and Para Vivir Mejor (Pontifical Bolivarian University) and producer of En Rojo y Negro of the same university. He received the Emmi Award for the strong support of the special in Sintonía con los niños (Canal Capital), the India Catalina, the Armando Devia Moncaleano and the Amway Award for the best university television programs in the country.

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Periodista de la Universidad de Antioquia (2010), con experiencia en temas sobre tecnología y economía. Editor de las revistas TVyVideo+Radio y AVI Latinoamérica. Coordinador académico de TecnoTelevisión&Radio.

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