Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Channel 36 Off Air Again

Channel 36, Cholusat Sur, has been kicked off the air by "interference" with its signal, technology the de facto government sought to purchase in El Salvador right after the coup. Basically what's going on is that the de facto government has brought up a transmitter on the same frequency as that of Cholusat Sur, blocking its signal. The rogue transmitter is broadcasting cowboy movies and pornography according to station owner Esdras Amado López.

Lopez filed a complaint today with CONATEL.

This, by the way, is why "access by candidates to the media" is a good criterion, but not a very complete criteria to use to judge the freeness and transparency of the elections.


Pete said...

As Cholusat Sur transmits over a secure link from its transmitter to the Intelsat 11 satellite, perhaps you can explain how the "de facto" government has managed to break into this secure link?

And can you provide more details please on this technology which you say was purchased from El Salvador?

Personally, I believe Cholusat Sur's problems are being caused by Cholusat Sur.

rns said...


While because of where you live, you get Cholusat Sur's broadcast downloaded from a satellite, that doesn't hold true for its home in Tegucigalpa. There it broadcasts over-the-air on channel 36, and its that signal that's being interfered with by a parallel transmitter. Its easy to interfere with a an over-the-air broadcast signal.

I don't know the route by which the signal gets from Cholusat Sur's studios to its transmitter, and from the studio to Cable Color's satellite uplink facility in San Pedro Sula, but frankly, that would be easy to interfere with as well, since undoubtedly Cable Color and Cholusat Sur lease the Tegucigalpa-San Pedro link from someone else, like say, Hondutel. The studio to transmitter site link is either a direct microwave link, or another leased line, either of which can be easily interferred with by anyone who wants to be malicious.

There were several press reports in early July that the golpistas were in El Salvador trying to buy TV jamming or broadcasting equipment. Its relatively easy to buy mobile, truck based, transmitters, but they need a good source of electricity (either noisy generators on trucks, or connections to the power grid).

Between the power requirements for a transmitter, and signal location equipment, someone should be able to find the parallel transmitter in Tegucigalpa. A fairly logical place to look would be at Toncontin airport.