Digital Revolution in Latin America beyond Technologies

Digital Revolution in Latin America beyond Technologies

Maria Cristina Gobbi, Francisco Machado Filho
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8740-0.ch024
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


The challenge of interactive digital television (iDTV) in Latin America is to give opportunity of technological access and participation to a significant parcel of the population whose main information source is (still analog) television. The increase in connected device possession and system digitalization has been modifying consumption habits of audiovisual content. Television is still the home center, but now it divides the attention with mobile phones, smartphones, tablets and laptops, delineating a consumption that is multitasking, portable, mobile etc., but not always linked (independent devices use), there are multi-platform services and products that allow this interaction, though. Several externalities must be considered, either the different stages of digital signal development and application, or the cultural diversity, laws, technological unfolding, education, and even the economic aspects of each country. The paper aims to provide demands of how to digitally include these millions of citizens who don't have internet access.
Chapter Preview


There is a social search for informational democratization in Latin America, but its accomplishment passes through diversified structural, social and political-cultural aspect. Technologies such as mobility, interactivity and connectivity combined with computer science and radio broadcasting are changing information consumption and production means in the continent. However, the distribution, integration, access and assimilation processes of these technologies by the society are conditioned to several factors, such as signal coverage, network capacity, speed, devices price, technical characteristics, and others.

A significant part of latin-american knowledge and evolution in communication is a result of the products that circulate through massive media (radio and television), directly attached to urban culture, added to cultural industry development. To understand digitization context in the region is essential to know this society by citizenship perspective, because this results are in a practical interference on what has been done, especially in communication processes, technological access and information dissemination.

Between 1950 and 1970 the researches in Latin America had focus on ideological issues related to popular memory, political management, informational flow, polemics around national identity, political-cultural projects designing, appliance of hegemonic models generated by the necessity of self-identification in social values universe, producing development as a way to satisfy basic necessities, and on epistemological landmark critic and etc. Later, new cultural matrices (especially the ones related to popular culture) bring other configurations in the local and global identity formation. Sender and receiver role is reformulated, the communication is not ‘one for all’ anymore, but it is ‘all for all’, mainly after World Wide Web (www) creation by Berners-Lee, between 1989 and 1991. It is the beginning of digital culture and of new ways to democratize information and knowledge ingression. Network, connections, interactivity, access, sharing, new communication processes, new media, other forms of audiovisual products etc., are characteristics of a new paradigm, which defines cultural change lines that the region has been experiencing since then.

Many overviews have been discovered in the continent along, mainly, the last decade. The communication inclusion in governmental and non-governmental organizations global agenda, the audiovisual and sound industries expansion and solidification, the universities growth, where the action focus in specific areas of communication such as journalism and publicity was increased, for transmedia spaces usually supported by digital technologies, have been expanding the necessity of putting together the actions, production centers and results achieved in a communication development commun axis in Latin America.

In spite of its encouraging effects, social and digital inclusion still face many challenges. Considering only population and geographical dimension in Latin America it is possible to imagine the extension of the problem that need to be faced. If other variables were included, like economy, culture and laws, for example, the challenge would gain exponential proportions. Since 1970 decade, governments, researchers, research cores and others, have been making efforts, in many places in the region, regarding development policies and the necessity of including a suitable national communication policy for new demands in radio broadcasting and use of digital technologies.

At the same time, a huge effort has been made by several social agents to create a dialogue among latin american countries representatives, universities, governmental agencies, research centers, content producers, media industries and non-governmental organizations aiming the creation of national and international associations of really representative communication researchers together with agencies from several operating areas, in several countries, in order to increase the access to digital technologies and reduce social and digital exclusion by making a joint effort.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Multiprogramming: Possibility of watching different programs in only one television channel (6MHz).

Hypermediality: Multilateral Interface (one-all; all-one; all-all), each time more simple, friendly, ergonomic and powerful. People daily contact with digital devices fill real life with virtual. Human spaces joined with cyberspace also become ‘hypermedia spaces’.

Ginga: Open Middleware of the Japanese-Brazilian Digital Television System (ISDB-TB) and ITU-T recommendation for IPTV services used for the development of interactive applications for Digital TV.

HTML: Hypertext Markup Language, version 5. Language for structuring and presentation of content for World Wide Web.

Simputer: Equipment, a bit bigger than handhelds that are available in the market, equipped with Linux based operating system, was originally created by Indian Institute of Science to lead internet to India rural areas.

Linux: Open operating system software available under license, which allows use, modification and distribution.

Silicon Valley: Nickname for the San Francisco Bay area in California, United States that concentrates a large number of high-tech companies and startups.

One Seg (or 1SEG): Digital Television transmission technology for mobile devices, such as laptops, netbooks, smartphones, tablets and others with video and audio integrated.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: