by Yosley Carrero
HAVANA, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Darwin Fraguela, a 42-year-old engineer from Havana, supervises on-air broadcast signals and transmitters output at a brand-new monitor control room donated by China to Cuban state TV.
He was always busy finding solutions to any on-air problems that might arise during the broadcasting of five different channels operated from his position.
But now the new digital technology provided by China has for the first time equipped Cuba with a master control room with the capacity to transmit signals of 12 TV channels in unison if required.
Additionally, the digital equipment donation from the Chinese government included two high-definition studios.
Ruvisel Gonzalez, a senior official at the Cuban TV, told Xinhua that the technology will help the island expand digital TV with Chinese standard.
"This is something that will improve the quality of our work," he said. "We are decided to discard obsolete equipment, and China is fundamental for the development of digital TV in Cuba."
For the installment of technology, Cuban technicians received training from Chinese experts.
Cuban broadcasting services updated their technical infrastructure amid the COVID-19 pandemic and tightening of the six-decade U.S. economic, commercial and financial embargo against the Caribbean nation.
Digital television rollout in Cuba kicked off in 2013, with converter boxes donated by the Chinese government being part of the first test in the country's capital of Havana.
At present, there are more than 40 municipal, provincial and national TV channels in Cuba broadcasting via analog and digital signals. Digital and high-definition TV signals respectively cover more than 70 percent and 40 percent of the island's territory.
Yeidel Hernandez, who works as an editor and director of a TV evening magazine for the Cuban broadcasting system, told Xinhua that thanks to this donation, the performance on the screen of many TV shows will improve.
"We have now a better quality of audio and pictures. In addition, this technology opens possibilities to explore new graphic designs," he said.
Meanwhile, Michel Marcos, director of a science TV show in Cuba, said "the change from standard to high-definition TV is spectacular. We are getting into a new world."
"At the end of the day, this equipment will contribute to better connect with the audience, and that is very positive," he said.