Television in Argentina

Getting to grips with TV standards and understanding what's available to the TV viewer in Argentina…

The television transmission systems used in Argentina are Pal-N or NSTC, and most TV and video appliances can be configured to either of these formats. Countries with PAL systems normally (with a few rare exceptions) have 220V voltage and 50 Hz frequency, while countries using NTSC normally have 110/220V voltage and 60Hz.

In order for foreign television sets to work in Argentina, they should be compatible with this standard. There are three main television/video standards in use throughout the world.

  • NTSC: used in the USA, Canada, Japan and some other countries
  • PAL: used in most of Western Europe, Australasia and South Africa
  • SECAM: used in France, parts of the Middle East and Eastern Europe

Terrestrial and Digital TV

There are five public terrestrial channels in Argentina, which have national coverage and are distributed free of charge. A low-cost TV aerial is required to receive these channels. All the content on air channels is in Spanish.

Note: A license is not required for public television.

Satellite and Cable TV

Cable television is distributed via fiber optics and provides around 60-70 channels (depending on the cable company) for a monthly fee. The two main cable TV companies are Cablevision and Telecentro. Packages normally include broadband and, in some areas, telephone lines.

Many of the channels show content in the original language (in most cases English) with subtitles, while on others content is dubbed into Spanish. There is a government proposal currently in the pipeline which would require all content to be dubbed into Spanish.

The only Satellite TV company currently available in Argentina is DirecTV which provides a choice of 180 channels and a variety of packages ranging from “pay per day” receiving 48 signals for as little as 50 cents per day or 140 signals for €1 a day, to weekly or monthly packages for around €10 a month. Premium monthly packages range from about €30 to €40 a month and provide a wide range of channels, live recording, pause and rewind options and on demand access among other services. Language and subtitle options can be chosen as required.