China supports development of Cuba's digital TV platform

HAVANA, May 24 (Xinhua)   Lazaro Campos, who works as a supervisor at Havana-based Camilo Cienfuegos electronics company,

has changed his daily routine over the past few weeks as the island started manufacturing set-top boxes to meet local demand.

“Cuba is moving from analogue (TV) to digital TV. That is why we want to make sure people get access to the necessary equipment,” he said.

Campos told Xinhua that components used in the production process were imported from China, which is the island’s second-largest commercial partner and a main technical assistance provider.

“We have received training from Chinese experts who have very much contributed to improving the quality of our work,” he added.

So far, technicians from the Cuban electronics company have already manufactured 90,000 of the 318,000 converter boxes expected to be produced by the end of the year.

In parallel, over 32,000 TV sets will be manufactured by the company in 2021 to supply the country’s stores as well as to support Cuba’s education and tourism industries.

Sitting on a black chair, Nayta Perez checked the quality of sound and image of 32-inch and 43-inch hybrid TV sets before they were packaged and sent to a warehouse.

“It is a very time-consuming process, but very important,” she said. “We have to guarantee the product meets all the requirements for people to have a comfortable digital TV viewing experience at home.”

The state-run electronic company is also boosting innovation and research on digital TV at a laboratory donated by China.

“We have gained some expertise with analogue TV, but the digital era has changed almost everything,” said 48-year-old Camilo Varona, who has been working in the company since 1994. “China and Cuba have built a win-win relationship.”

Digital television rollout in the Caribbean country kicked off in 2013, with converter boxes donated by the Chinese government being part of the first test in the capital city of Havana.

At present, more than 40 municipal, provincial and national TV channels in Cuba broadcast via analogue and digital signals.

According to local media, new digital television transmitters would be spotted at various corners of the country this year.

Edel Gomez, director of the electronics company, told Xinhua that Cuba uses renewable energy sources and environmentally friendly technologies to produce set-top boxes and hybrid TV sets.

“The outcome of joint work between Chinese companies and Cuba has been very positive. The digital TV with Chinese standards has shown its high quality of signal reception, sound, and image resolution,” he said. “Things are going well.”