It’s been a long wait, but HDTV has finally come to Argentina. CableVisión announced this weekend that it has started offering offering two channels, HBO HD and Movie City HD, in high definition. According to this La Nacion article, DirecTV this weekend also launched HDTV signals.
So far, no Argentine programming is available. Moreover, the Argentine government hasn’t even decided on which HDTV broadcast standard it wants to implement, meaning it could be years before locally produced shows start showing up in HD on Argentine airwaves.
Since the late 1990s the government has been wobbling back and forth over this issue. Planning Minister Julio De Vido recently said the government will likely to adopt the Japanese HDTV standard, which is also used in Brazil. But he wouldn’t discard opting for the U.S. or European standards. The state’s eternal vacillation has only delayed deployment of HDTV services.
To take get HDTV you need an HDTV with 1080i resolution. DirecTV does not yet have any information about its service on its site, but CableVisión’s says it will broadcast in full 1920 x 1080 with Doby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Finally! CableVisión will charge 32 pesos a month for its Movie City HD package (including one HD channel and seven SD channels) and 38 pesos for its HBO HD package (including one HD and 10 SD channels). That’s in addition to a setup box, which costs a one-time fee of 600 pesos, plus 30 a month (or 1,999 pesos and no monthly fee). More details are here.