Mexico: Tijuana first city in Latin America to switch from analog to digital TV broadcasting

Out with the old ... Two men remove an analog television set from a van in Pompano Beach, Florida, on June 5, 2009, as the U.S. makes the transition from analog to digital broadcasting.

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Tijuana in northern Mexico on Tuesday became the first city in Latin America to switch from analog to digital television broadcasting, Mexican media reported.

The digital transmission will give television viewers better reception and access to more channels – but the move has left many poor people without television.

Some residents in impoverished areas of the city have not received the necessary decoders and antennas to access the digital signal, according to Luis Krasovsky, a Tijuana-based lawyer, UT San Diego reported.

Krasovsky is mounting a class action to demand an immediate return to analog broadcasts.

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced Tijuana would be the first city in Mexico to go all-digital during a visit to Baja California last October.

Until Tuesday, Tijuana television stations had been broadcasting a mix of analog and digital formats for a number of years. But with digital television penetration at 90 percent of the population, it was time to switch off the analog signal.

The government hopes to complete the rollover to digital broadcasting across Mexico by the end of 2015.