Q3: How Interested Are You in Free TV Everywhere?

'Portability is expected' July 29, 2016
We asked folks to answer 10 questions about “Next-gen TV,” the consumer appellation for the TV content distributed via new technology from the Advanced Television Systems Committee, a collection of engineers charged with developing the nation’s over-the-air TV delivery standard. ATSC 3.0 promises interactive, non-linear and portable functionality, as well as support for 4K and other advanced audio and video technologies.

TV Technology asked a series of questions to gauge the level of interest in these advanced features. We had 101 respondents, 67 percent of whom work in “content creation, app development, media distribution or communications.”

Links to the full results for each of the 10 questions follow the comments.

Synopsis: A majority professed to be “very interested” in the features of TV everywhere, but those features alone won’t make a new free TV everywhere service a slam dunk, according to commenters. As one noted, “portability is expected.”

Others are done trying to watch any type of long-form content on smartphones, or chasing content across devices over an app trail. A few others appear to be “TV’d out,“ a highly reasonable response during an election year.

Nonetheless, of all respondents, 58 percent were very interested; 30 percent, somewhat; and 12 percent—not at all.

  • Not something I care about; no time to mess with.
  • This can only increase consumer choices and really has no downside.
  • Prefer to sit on the couch and watch in HD.
  • Very interested in being able to view free TV on smartphones, tablets and laptops in moving cars, trains, or other mobile environments because we are becoming very mobile as we continue to immigrate within cities, towns, states, provinces ....etc...etc..
  • Hot dog! That would be fantastic and much needed.
  • This would be great for news, sports, and other live events. I’ve always thought it was odd that no one seems to be marketing a smartphone with FM radio capabilities. I think that would be a very popular feature.
  • Without this business model, TV is dead.
  • Not particularly on phones, but once available for tablets and laptops, phones naturally follow. Mobile environments, yes.
  • Most free TV is something I’d be happy streaming anytime. On a subway, I’m only on board for 10 minutes and building infrastructure for that sort of service isn’t high on my list. Podcasts work fine for most of my radio listening, I’m sure the same applies for most of my TV.
  • Portability is what is expected.
  • Most people somewhere over the age of 40 will experience changes in their vision. Viewing any kind of content on smartphones or small tablets or notebooks is not very desirable. Therefore, HD and 4K is not enough to compensate for aging eyes.
  • Only if it really works. The service providers can’t even provide reliable service over the internet, so I have no interest in trying to watch a TV program that is likely to crash before it is over. AND, would it have lip-sync problems too?
  • Something to keep the kids occupied, or keep me occupied during a 12-hour wait for a plane. Watching TV on a cellphone will hurt your eyes. Dick Tracy wrist radio/TV is already here.
  • The ability to receive free TV reliably without outdoor antennas, cable or dependence on internet service will revitalize television broadcasting more than any other changes.
  • Valuable information can be available at the palm of the hand.
  • I want the over-the-air broadcast to have an IP stream version available at all times, without needing separate apps from every content provider, which usually are restricted to cable subscribers.
  • I like to be free from cable.
  • Just go with live stream.
  • On-demand is unreliable (cable system) and internet bandwidth is unpredictable!
  • I don’t watch much.
  • In my opinion, this is the biggest improvement coming from ATSC 3.0. We missed the boat 20 years ago when we passed over mobile reception. Mobile DTV never took off because of the overhead required to bolt it on after the fact, added cost and limited (essentially non-existent) receivers. By baking mobile reception in from the start, all of those issues disappear. The assumed receiver for the current standard is a big screen TV in the living room. We gave that up to cable years ago. The assumed receiver for next-generation broadcasting should be a phone or tablet, with the continuing ability to get to the living room. That is what we have done and it puts us back in the game in my opinion.
  • Tablets and laptop viewing would be nice for mass transit—assuming an enforceable earbuds rule—but perhaps not in our cars... way too many distractions already. I’ve seen drivers on the highway watching a portable DVD player propped on the dashboard.
  • FCC should mandate ATSC function in all cellphones for public safety alone.
  • I can do that now.
  • As long as there is a back channel, it is a great idea.
  • I only use a smartphone and feel it’s too small to watch something on it for very long.
  • Just look out the window and you would be amazed what is out there and it is live.
  • Incompatible with my lifestyle.
  • Only for breaking news. Otherwise, I’ll find other things to do.
  • The problem with the mobile/handheld I see as several-fold. 1) It is already being done well by the wireless carriers. 2) Broadcasters that talk about doing M/H just talk about streaming their typical programming to these mobile devices and nothing more. The problem with that antiquated mindset is that mobile viewers usually don’t have time to sit through a 30- to 60-minute show consisting of 33 percent commercials. They want content in bite-sized portions and if broadcasters insist on shoveling their liner broadcast down a mobile pipe they should at least provide a regularly updated rotation of content on a second or third stream of their news bonus show content, extras from the network studios, what-have-you. 3) Numerous other online content sites have already known this and do it better, and 4) most TV news stations put their more interesting stories on YouTube, so what would be the compelling reason to buy a broadcast-enabled device? 5) If this is going to work ,the broadcasters will need to get off their ass and actually inform the public about it as they already have a technology to provide M/H, but there has been effectively zero interest in providing it or informing the viewing public about its existence. What about ATSC 3.0 will create a wholesale change of mind for broadcasters?
  • Available when I want it.
  • Can always download and watch. On-demand on the move is interesting, but not so much linear TV; but then I’m not really into current events like sports or news.
  • Especially on my iPhone 6!
  • I don’t like watching TV on a smartphone. Laptops and tablets are okay, but I’ve got Wi-Fi for doing that, and I can make a Wi-Fi hotspot with my smartphone.
  • Only if it interacts like other online video apps
  • Especially if I am driving the train. Kidding. Children on long drives can watch educational documentaries and learn while stuck in a car. Great use of time and device.
  • All of this stuff (junk) should be free.
  • I don’t use public transit often, so it’s not terribly applicable to me. That said, I’m sure passengers are always hungry for new content.
  • I like reading during travel.
  • I’ve pretty much transitioned away from “appointment television.” Pretty much everything I watch is on-demand (either network shows via Hulu, CBS.com, or PBS.org or steaming via Netflix or Amazon Prime). Only rarely do I watch over-the-air TV anymore.
  • Very interested in the ability to watch a ball game or favorite show on my cellphone or tablet. I don’t want to pay for the privilege, however.
  • I still feel that free over-the-air TV represents the wide net that can be cast and is valuable. With a guaranteed bitrate of 19.39 Mbps, all programming looks far better than the shared data stream of cable. I always point the antenna at Mt. Wilson for the Grammy’s, Oscars and other big viewing events.

  • All 10 Questions About Next-Gen TV...
    Q1: How interested are you in free television service that's interactive, like the internet?

    Q2: How do you feel about a free TV service that activates a device to deliver emergency alerts?

    Q3: How interested are you being able to view free TV on smartphones, tablets and laptops in moving cars, trains, or other mobile environments? <-You are here.

    Q4: How interested are you in the ability to move from TV to tablet to smartphone without missing a scene in a show or a play in a sporting event?

    Q5: How interested are you in a free Ultra HDTV service?

    Q6: How interested are you in a free TV service that provides immersive audio, replaceable dialogue and other advanced audio capabilities?

    Q7: How do you feel about advertisements based on data mined from your personal media usage?

    Q8: Would you be willing to buy a set-top box or other hardware peripheral to be able to receive free Next-Gen TV?

    Q9: How much TV do you watch per day? (Include TVs, tablets, laptops, PCs and smartphones.)

    Q10: Do you work in content creation, app development, media distribution or communications?

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