• TV broadcasters in US lead next-gen TV offering
  • Next-gen TV in top 40 US markets by end of 2020
  • FCC commissioner hails ATSC 3.0 as “transformative”

Netflix 3x2

ATSC 3.0 to drive next-generation TV experiences 

Fox and NBC among TV broadcasters in the US to collaborate on the deployment of ATSC 3.0 for next-generation TV viewing experiences.

A coalition of US television broadcasters has announced plans to deploy of next-generation TV, based on based on the ATSC 3.0 specifications, across forty of the largest US TV markets by the end of 2020. 

The next-generation TV experience is powered by the new internet protocol (IP)-based ATSC 3.0 standard, which allows consumers to integrate the most popular broadcast television into their digital ecosystems.

The coalition consists of Fox Television Stations, NBC Universal owned television stations, Univision, SpectrumCo (whose members include Sinclair Broadcast Group and Nexstar Media Group), members of the Pearl TV business organisation (including Cox Media Group, The EW Scripps Company, Graham Media Group, Gray Television, Hearst Television Inc, Meredith Local Media Group, Nexstar Media Group and Tegna Inc.

Additional supporting broadcasters include America’s Public Television Stations (APTS), Capitol Broadcasting, Hubbard Broadcasting, News-Press and Gazette Broadcasting as well as public broadcasters participating in the Phoenix Model Market Next-Gen TV test.

The deployment of ATSC 3.0 will provide information and entertainment to ATSC 3.0-equipped television receivers, automobiles and to other digital and mobile consumer devices.

Fox Corporation senior vice president of legal and FCC compliance Joe Di Scipio said: “ATSC 3.0 is integral to the success and longevity of our business.

“We are thrilled to be on the forefront of this movement with our partners in expanding the access and footprint of next-gen TV broadcast. This is yet another example of our commitment to innovation and our viewers.”

The effort builds on the testing and rollouts that have already taken place across the US and reflects the commitment of commercial and non-commercial broadcasters across the country to bring advanced television services to the public.

Sinclair Broadcast Group president and chief executive Chris Ripley added: “Sinclair is proud to join other leading broadcasters and television stations across the country to launch next-gen TV - the most important upgrade ever of the nation’s broadcasting infrastructure.

“Sinclair was instrumental in pioneering ATSC 3.0 and is committed to bringing its many benefits to consumers across the country with an aggressive rollout schedule.

“ATSC 3.0 allows broadcasters to combine the infinite flexibility of IP with the unparalleled efficiency and quality of broadcast distribution.”

This first wave of over-the-air next-gen TV service will begin to launch in several markets this year, with dozens more planned throughout the year and is concurrent with the anticipated 2020 introduction of equipped consumer devices to support the new TV experiences.

The coalition added the approval is subject to final engineering and required approvals, consents and FCC license modifications.

ATSC 3.0 transforming broadcasting

FCC commissioner Brendan Carr delivered a keynote speech yesterday at NAB on the transformative changes for broadcasters from ATSC 3.0.

Brendan Carr

Brendan Carr, FCC

Despite its uninspiring name Carr explained it is “actually a pretty exciting technology,” which enables new and creative services to come to market.

He told delegates: “ATSC 3.0 is part of a broader shift we’re seeing towards next-generation connectivity - one that is going to usher in a new wave of innovation and opportunity for Americans.

“You see it on the wireless side with the buildout of 5G networks and you see it a couple hundred miles above us with a new generation of low-earth orbit satellites ready to launch.

“And you see it across the country as fixed broadband providers upgrade and extend their networks to support new use cases.”

Highlighting the buzz around ATSC 3.0 at NAB, he added: “This new standard will bring 4K and ultra-high dynamic (UHD) video to the airwaves. It will enable broadcast TV signals to be delivered right to your smartphone or tablet,” he continued, “It will usher in a more interactive, accessible, and personalized experience for the viewing public.”

Security standardised
Carr said ATSC 3.0 features promise to boost more than entertainment values. He said they have the potential to improve public safety.

“Whether it’s geo-targeted and encrypted information sent directly to first responders, or multimedia amber alerts to provide the public with more accurate and complete information during times of crisis.”

He explained that ATSC 3.0 offers the freedom to innovate with the potential to deliver 25 Mbps of data streamed across the US.

He added: “As an IP-based standard, ATSC 3.0 will enable broadcasters to leverage the same protocols that we use today in our broadband networks.”