The era of digital television has come to Yucatán almost a year ahead of a federal deadline.
The transition from analog signals to digital began in the north — Tijuana — last year. By Jan. 1, 2016, all television programming in Mexico will be broadcast digitally, making old-style antenna TVs reliant on a decoder.
Already, 56.1 percent of households in Yucatán receive a signal through Cablemás, Sky or Dish. Of those, the cable customers will require a new box by Dec. 30. Already in Mérida, 22 percent of cable households are ahead of schedule, while in Umán and Progreso, 100 percent of Cablémas customers have converted.
The first decoder box will be free, with additional boxes costing MX$40 a month, or MX$60 or high definition. The federal government has subsidy programs for families that cannot afford the boxes.
There will be no need to buy a new television. Even the oldest black-and-white model will work with the decoder box, according to a story in today’s Diario de Yucatán. That said, the government has given away new 24-inch HDTV sets to qualifying households.
The original analog shut-off was slated for 2021, but the previous president, Philippe Calderon, decided to dramatically accelerate the timeline.