The TV transmission standard in Colombia is DVB-T2, with a channel bandwith of 6MHz. It is a system compatible with the European digital terrestrial television standard. Only foreign television sets that are compatible with this standard work in Colombia. Compatibility also depends on the age of the TV set, and the model.
All transmission has been digital since 2008. TV licenses are not required.
Most national and regional television channels, public and private, can be accessed for free if you have a digital TV set. Some also have the online streaming option.
The most important channels available in Bogota include:
Other TV channels can be watched only with a Cable or Satellite TV subscription. A full list of the Colombian TV channels can be found on Wikipedia.
Cable and satellite TV is common in Bogota, and packages are generally offered by telecommunications companies. Plans usually include internet and telephone services as well, but TV-only subscriptions are also available.
TV subscriptions give access to channels from Colombia and abroad, with Latin American TV being high on the list. Plans range from basic ones that give access to a limited number of channels on a certain topic (e.g. series, classic cinema) and cost 6-10 usd/month, to extended plans with up to a hundred channels and cost around 30 usd/month. Promotional offers and discounts may apply.
Installation is arranged online or by phone and it takes up to a working week. However, don't forget to consult with your landlord beforehand, if you don't have any contract already functioning.
Currently, the main providers include:
However, not all providers are available throughout the city. Depending on the area, your choice may be limited. It is good to ask with your landlord and neighbours about which companies provide the TV service in your building.
Broadband internet service is installed already in most apartments, but if not, installation is a fairly easy process. As with TV services, an internet subscription generally comes bundled with other services such as cable or satellite TV, and and a landline.
The service is not very cheap, however, as prices are between 30-90 euros for connections of 10 – 100 Mbps. Prices also depend on the stratum of the building, with the higher strata paying more for installation and the monthly fee.
The main providers are the telecommunications companies:
You first need to check with your landlord as the property may already have an active plan. If not, installation can be arranged by phone and takes no longer than a week.
You will need a valid Colombian ID and a copy of the rental agreement.
Internet Cafés are not as common as several years ago, but they still exist, especially near universities. Most internet cafés also offer photocopying and printing services as well as national phone calls. Some are located inside stationery stores or other shops.
The prices vary with the area, starting from 2 USD an hour.
It is common for most cafés and restaurants to have free wi-fi for their customers, but the service is less common in public areas. Some state institutions offer wi-fi at no cost inside and around their premises. Look for a Punto Vive Digital sign and follow the instructions.
A map of the free wi-fi spots in Bogota can be consulted here.
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