Q5: How Interested Are You in a Free Ultra HDTV Service?

Is it enough to make it worth serious consideration? August 2, 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: The overall response to a free Ultra HDTV service is positive, and rated most highly in our survey in terms of interest after the free TV everywhere question posed in No. 3. Both technologies are currently available, but not necessarily for free, and not necessarily with the same interface.

Folks with Ultra HDTVs tend to say bring on the content: “Still don’t have enough content available to convince me to upgrade, so every little bit helps.” Others are either concerned about having to buy a new TV for Ultra HD, or are not impressed enough by the jump in resolution over HD it to buy a new TV set.

Of all respondents, 57 percent were very interested; 30 percent, somewhat; and 13 percent—not at all.

  • Throw in HDR and you have me. Otherwise, I can live without. Lets talk 1080p HDR. Less bandwith/compression needed.
  • Service would be nice but not enough to justify the cost to retrofit.
  • Not crazy about buying a new TV.
  • Over-the-air is very important to me. I do subscribe to satellite TV. I don’t want to pay more for programing than I do now. I am sure there will be ads on any new subscription or “free” services. I am not sure there is much of an advantage for “Ultra HDTV” services. The programing may or may not be what I would watch. New movies, sports, even redone sitcoms don’t have to be a lot better visually for me.
  • It must keep up with state-of-the-art. Pictures are awesome. HDR is more important than 4K.
  • I have a 4KTV at the moment.
  • I’m not super excited about 4K, but when you add high dynamic range, it starts to look more appealing. I doubt I’d be willing to pay extra for it, though, so a free service is where I would start.
  • Diminishing returns.
  • 4K/HDR yes, and MPEG-H’s ability for the dialogue and music and effects tracks to be adjusted by the viewer.
  • We don’t have decent MPEG-2 delivery today. 4K on 6 MHz is a technical pipe dream, and at 30 Mbps sounds like a total waste. I tell folks—you got a 12-foot wide living room. Put your couch on the wall, and on the other wall, a set the size of a two-car garage door is about the size 4K supports. Any size smaller may as well be 1080p. And so few people have brightness and contrast set right today. A higher contrast ratio in 4K is another waste. Plus, how often will we scrap our over-the-air gear? We nearly killed broadcast TV the last time, we don’t need to do it again so soon.
  • Existing HD (1080) resolution is fine for 90 percent of the programming, and 4K might be desirable on a large screen SS environment. I cannot understand the desire for that kind of resolution on a small screen.
  • Don’t know enough about what this will offer to the customer.
  • Assuming it really works. The bigger problem is that over the past couple of decades we have been sold a bill of goods for both free and paid programming which still doesn’t have the ability to provide solid, reliable service without technical problems. We don’t need another one.
  • If you have the television, you might as well have the programming.
  • I don’t believe UHDTV will be a prime factor for a long time, if ever. Like 3DTV and to some degree surround sound, this will be a niche market.
  • Latest tech providing latest info.
  • Broadcasters need to make this available to compete with streaming and optical formats.
  • Don’t have the room or interest in viewing something that takes that large of screen to meet visual acuity requirements to view.
  • Bigger and better. From black-and-white to color to HD to UHD.
  • 8K and more!
  • I have a 4KTV. Works great as a monitor.
  • I am more excited about HDR than 4K, but they kind of go together and are both part of Ultra HDTV. Unless you are sitting very close to the TV, 1080P is fine for most people. I would rather see four HD channels than one UHD.
  • With what content? Most of us that can afford an “ultra” TV are past being able to really see the difference versus HD without sitting nose-to-screen.
  • As with current ATSC, I would expect a higher bitrate and/or better picture.
  • UHD is stunning. But not enough to make me go buy a new TV.
  • Have 4K now. More service is better.
  • Not sure what Ultra HDTV is and if my existing TV can support it.
  • Only if backwardly compatible with current ATSC. Maybe if my new UHD’s ATSC tuner can be upgraded with a software/firmware update. Way too soon to obsolete HDTV.
  • It looks nice but the big problem is content.
  • Might have some novelty value, but fundamentally, the picture quality of any UHD service is going to be pants compared to the original.
  • I don’t do cable. So OTA is what it is about.
  • It will be a nice upgrade to the current broadcast system. But ATSC 3.0 is a majorly disruptive, unfunded and poorly communicated idea to the masses. For most people, the difference in 4K from 2K video will not be anything as dramatic or improved as the migration from 4:3 analog to 16:9 HD digital. “So, who wants to throw out their current 4K UHDTV and buy a new one that has a slightly different OTA tuner? Anyone? Sorry, OTA means ‘over-the-air’. Yes, you’ll need an outdoor antenna. I see five hands raised.”
  • Waste of bandwidth. Linear TV is mostly poor programming. Drama does not improve just because it is UHD. Again—it might be relevant for sports. For movies, why not just download a UHD, or buy it?
  • Must be compatible with my new 1080i HDTV set!
  • My screen is too small and my distance too far to see Ultra.
  • Always want the best picture.
  • Next-gen technology. No stopping it
  • Still don’t have enough content available to convince me to upgrade, so every little bit helps.
  • The images I’ve seen are amazing, but I don’t feel a need to invest in equipment to view it until after my current DTV is dead.
  • I own a 4K display, so I’d be very interested in this.

  • 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?

    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?  <-You are here.

    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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