FAQ: Television

Are televisions the same in Mexico?

Yes, absolutely the same as north of the border. The same brands, the same voltage, the same connections. Even the prices are pretty close, so you don’t need to bring your TV with you if you’re trying to travel light. We also have online shopping, so you can check it out for yourself before heading down.

Does Mexico have OTA-DTV?

For those of you reading this and going ‘huh?’ the acronym stands for Over-the-Air Digital Television. A fancy way of saying broadcast TV that you can pick up with a simple antenna. And the answer is YES. In most major cities there is a reasonable selection of high definition OTA programming. But be prepared for it to be in español. This is Mexico, right? If you’re just learning Spanish this is actually a really good way to get some listening practice, and keep up on the local news as well.

How do I get OTA-DTV?

All that’s needed is a digital antenna, which are widely available at retailers and online. If the broadcast signals are strong in your area, you may be able to get by with a very inexpensive one for less than $100 pesos (that’s like $6 USD!). Even the better quality long distance antennas are quite inexpensive, often costing less than $500 pesos. Once you have your choice of antenna, simply plug it into the RG-59 cablevision plug on your TV and if it’s a directional antenna, aim it for the best signal strength. Then depending on your TV, you may have to do a channel scan so the TV can ‘learn’ all the available channels. That’s it! You now have 100% FREE Mexican television!

Is cablevision or satellite service available?

Yes and yes. Most major cities have a cablevision provider and even if you’re living off-grid you can get satellite service. There are both Spanish and English channels available in some areas but mostly español. See the note above for why this can be a good thing.

Are there any other ways to get TV?

Yes of course. See our FAQ about streaming for one option. Also, the major telecom providers here in Mexico often throw in their on-demand television service with your phone and internet subscription. For example, Telmex and Telcel offer their Claro Video, which is like Netflix, for free. All you need is an internet connection. At time of writing, a bundle of phone/internet/Claro with Telmex costs $389 pesos per month and also includes free North-America-wide phone calls.