SITE BANNER: Identifying TV DX from Mexico/Mexico TV DX Primer


Identifying TV stations in general is becoming more difficult for DXers. Stations now use fewer audio IDs; smaller IDs; logos without calls or locations; and names such as "NBC4", rather than calls and locations. Identifying TV stations from Mexico involves additional challenges. Basic DX techniques must be employed, and an understanding of spoken Spanish would be beneficial (especially for vision-impaired DXers).

It is a good idea to record your TV DX (at least the ads) on a VCR or audio tape recorder. Then review the tape later to make sure you didn't miss any mentions of locations.

GENERAL INFORMATION: Although American TV viewers are accustomed to seeing/ hearing local IDs, news, and commercials (ads) regularly, local ID information is not common on most TV stations around the world--including those in Mexico. (As far as we know, there is not a station directory that indicates which Mexican TV stations air local ID material.) Most Mexican TV stations are full-time relayers of national networks, and they never run local IDs, news, or ads. Therefore, the only IDs ever seen on many relayers are for the network-origination flagship stations in Mexico City. The good news is that some network relayers do air local ID information. In addition, independent, non-network stations--which run much local ID material--operate in many cities.

Supered calls on a black rectangle.
(XHTPZ-24 Tampico TAM, as received and
photographed by Jeff Kruszka in south Louisiana)

NATIONAL NETWORKS: Two companies operate Mexico's major national networks: Televisa and TV Azteca. There is also a small cultural/educational network.

ON THE VHF LOW-BAND (Es targets)
XHTJB-3 Tijuana BCN ONCE TV and Logo
XHNQR-5 Cancun QR ONCE TV and Logo


XEPM-2 CHIH Local ads
XHFI-5 CHIH Local ads
XHAP-2 GUER Supered calls
XEWO-2 JAL Local ads, supered calls/
XHQRO-2 Q.ROO Local ads
XHBS-4 SIN Supered calls
XHVIZ-3 TAB Supered calls
XHBR-11 TAM Supered calls
XERV-9 TAM Local ads
XHD-4 TAM Local ads

ID TYPES: Non-network stations usually run many full IDs and promos which feature calls, station name, and/or city of location. Network relayers that run IDs generally display small superimposed (supered) call letters for a few seconds once or twice an hour. Supered calls can be in a corner of the screen, or centered at the top or bottom of the screen. Some supered calls are on a black rectangle. Supered calls can pop up at any time, not just on the hour or half-hour.

XHJCM-4 AGS Supered calls
XHAQ-5 BCN Full IDs, local ads
XHIT-4 CHIH Supered IDs, TV Azteca
Chihuahua IDs, news, ads
XHWX-4 NL Local ads, news update
XHHSS-4 SON IDs, TV Azteca Hermosillo
IDs, local ads
XHFA-2 SON Local ads

SYNC BAR IDS: The major networks of Mexico have network IDs in the vertical synchronizing bar. These IDs list the Mexico City flagship stations, in addition to the network name. During Es fades and jerks, these IDs are easily readable. The IDs are not local station IDs.

NAME VS CALLS: It is common for stations in Mexico to use a name in addition to, or instead of, their call letters. For example, XHI-2 SON is known as "Televisora del Yaqui", XHG-4 is known as "Guadalajara4", and XHGV-4 uses the name "Televisa Veracruz".

FREQUENT CHANGES: The independent TV stations in Mexico change ID styles/logos/graphics often. Many IDs feature fancy animation (computer generated, I'm sure) and music. Some of the Televisa independents change IDs about once a year. Therefore, don't expect to see the same IDs from one year to another.

XHLPB-4 BCS Supered calls
XELN-4 COAH Supered calls
XHCHN-2 GUER Supered calls
XHATU-5 JAL Supered calls
XHPVE-4 JAL Supered calls, 4 Vallarta
IDs, local news
XHHHN-2 OAX Supered calls
XHCCN-4 Q.ROO Supered calls
XHMAF-4 SIN Supered calls/location
XHAJ-5 VER Supered calls
XHMEN-4 YUC Local ads
XHBQ-3 ZAC Supered calls
XHSMZ-4 ZAC Supered calls

XHTV-4/CENTRAL 4: Network or Station? XHTV-4 (now known as Central 4) serves the Mexico City area and forms a network with several other stations only on an occasional basis. (CLICK here to see a list of "temporary" relayers.) If you receive US-produced programs like "Beverly Hills 90210," "Roseanne" (the sitcom), or "Dr. Quinn"--which are also aired on other independent, non-network stations such as XHFM-2, XHY-2, and XHAB-7--you probably are receiving XHTV-4 the station. On the other hand, if you receive a sporting event or a special production that was produced in Mexico, you could be seeing a network. (CLICK here to read more about XHTV-4 and see the station's program schedule.)

Supered calls without black rectangle.
(XHBS-4 Los Mochis SI)
XHBS-4 supered calls

Common Sense Tips

W9WI Station Database: Every TV DXer should bookmark W9WI's website because it contains vital information on TV stations in the US, Canada, and Mexico. (See "Useful Links" page.)

Worldwide TV-FM DX Association: Every TV and FM DXer should consider joining the club. Hard-to-find, specialized information for TV and FM DXers is published every month in the club's VHF-UHF Digest. (See "Useful Links" page.)

Acknowledgements for information and suggestions:
Fernando Garcia, Jeff Kruszka (also use of XHTPZ-24 photograph; a great catch), W9WI (Doug Smith).

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Page (tips1.htm) produced by nladxer using Word 97 on 2-12-99. Updated on 11-12-99.