The Cuban government will sell the decoder boxes to capture the digital television signal, in the west of the island, through the state chain Tiendas Caribe.
The official website Cubadebate shared a list of Caribbean Stores that will sell “the little boxes”, as they are popularly known, to the population. This equipment is essential to capture the digital terrestrial television (DTT) signal whose first stage of partial transition It is scheduled between November 30 and December 15, 2021.
The decision of the State has not been well received by the population because it implies that people have to travel to establishments far from their homes and are obliged to do big tails to purchase the product.
Since September, decoder boxes were regulated in Cuba, as were products such as oil, chicken or detergent. The device could only be purchased once a year and with the presentation of the supply book.
Now the product must be marketed in national currency but it could be for free what creates uncertainty among Cubans. Some people pointed out that if set-top boxes are put up for sale in those stores quickly will be sold out, by coleros and resellers.
“It is necessary that this sale be carried out by nucleus. There are people in the provinces who, in addition to not being able to pay the price of the box, live miles away from those stores, have the elderly, children, people with disabilities under their care. ¿ How are they going to go to those places and do those long queues that they have to get up early and even sleep 3 days to buy it? “Asked a user on Facebook.
Cubans demand that the State not only think about selling in stores but also about other options that are more affordable for families.
“If it is ultimately one per core and per notebook, why don’t they sell them in the wineries. In the stores there are so many people involved organizing that in the end the same people will buy as always, especially resellers,” said one Cuban.
Tiendas Caribe sells three models of decoder boxes. All have high definition (HD) resolution availability and USB input port. Before they cost 50 cuc now they are worth 1,250 Cuban pesos.
Granma It indicated earlier this month that about 42,000 households will receive, in a subsidized manner, a module that includes the box, the antenna, the downcomer and the connectors. Those chosen for this grant were determined from a survey carried out by specialists from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
In July the “Comandante Camilo Cienfuegos” Electronic Industry Company, in Havana, reported that they were assembling HDTVs with imported components. They did not detail the price of this appliance, out of the reach of a worker, but they did specify that they include the decoder box.
The televisions are programmed for voltage ranges from 90 to 240V. They were designed as hybrids because they do double duty, capturing analog television and digital television. They contain the coding box internally, on its main board.
In May, the company produced around 90,000 decoder boxes for sale in stores across the country. The objective of this production line was to contribute to the deployment of digital television. However, the boxes often have technical problems and their durability is not optimal as indicated by customers and producers.
At the end of 2021, the state company promised to produce more than 300,000 of these devices, to increase their sale in the Cuban retail network.