Television in Colombia

<em>Get to grips with television standards, and how to subscribe to cable or satellite television, and find out what's available to the viewers in Colombia...</em>

The television signal in Colombia comes in both analogue and digital formats. The analogue television standard is the NTSC format, which will continue to be in use until 2019. The digital television standard used in the country is TDT with DVB-T2 technology.

For television sets that do not comply with the DVB-T2 technology, an adapter must be used to access the digital signal. Cable operators already provide digital TV signals to their customers.

Television Channels

There are a number of free-to-air channels available; both public and private, and regional or local. The local channels are mostly run as not-for-profit services, and provide specific content from the Catholic Church, universities and other communities.

Some of the main national television channels include Señal Colombia, Canal Uno and Canal Institucional. There are many other regional channels such as Telecaribe, Telenatioquia in Antioquia and Chocó, and Canal Capital and Canal 13 in Bogotá.

Cable and Satellite Providers

There are many paid-for subscription channels provided by cable and satellite companies. Subscriptions can be set up on the telephone, online, or at one of the customer service centres.

In order to subscribe the following documents are generally required, although this may vary from one company to another:

  • Proof of identity  - passport
  • Cédula de Extranjería (ID card) for foreigners
  • Proof of employment

A good credit history is required, and companies may check this. Other companies may require proof of residency in the country for over a year with proof of income.

The main television providers in the country are:

  • Claro (website in Spanish): Mobile phone, landline, internet and cable TV services
    Tel: (1) 6181818
  • Movistar (website in Spanish): Mobile telephone company offering television services, cable and online television channels and services
    Tel: 186
  • UNE (website in Spanish): Mobile internet, landlines, broadband access, cable TV, multi play packages
    Tel: 018000 4111111
  • Direct TV (website in Spanish): Satellite TV company offering premium channels, channels in English, French, German, Italian, movie channels and Pay Per View
    Tel: (1) 6116318

English Language Television

Public and free-to-air television channels are mainly in Spanish. Cable and satellite packages generally have international channels with television shows in English or their original language, with Spanish subtitles or alternative language options.