– TV set makers are joining broadcasters on ATSC 3.0, the new IP-based broadcast transmission standard now in fast-track development. The Consumer Technology Association (formerly the Consumer Electronics Association), the National Association of Broadcasters, America’s Public Television Stations and the Advanced Warning and Response Network Alliance together filed a joint petition
with the Federal Communications Commission to voluntarily implement ATSC 3.0, the standard being created by the Advanced Television Systems Committee. ATSC 3.0 would enable web-browser type functionality in broadcast television services, as well as delivery of Ultra High-Definition resolution, interactive emergency alerts, mobile services, immersive audio, datacasting, and service models yet unknown.
“This petition... asks the commission to amend its rules to allow broadcasters to use the signaling portion of the physical layer of the new ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard, while they continue to deliver current-generation DTV broadcast service to their communities,” the filing states.
The petition requests the FCC
approve the core “bootstrap” transmission technology for the new standard as an option for
local broadcasters and receiver manufacturers. ( See, “First Element of ATSC 3.0 Approved for Standard,” March 28, 2016.
Since ATSC 3.0 is not backward compatible with the current transmission format (known as “ATSC 1.0”), the petitioners seek rule changes to permit local simulcasting so they could transmit both 1.0 and 3.0 to mitigate viewer disruption. They also ask that ATSC 3.0 be given the same status that “television broadcasting” is given in the current digital television standard.
Under the simulcasting approach, a temporary host broadcaster in a market would agree to simulcast the 3.0 signals generated by other stations in the market. The host station’s
programming would reciprocally be carried as a programming stream by one of the
stations deploying 3.0.
No additional spectrum or government
funds are required for the new standard, and consumers would have no equipment
mandates. Carriage by pay TV providers would be hammered out in negotiations, the petitioners said.
“This is an exciting time
for the broadcast industry. Next-Gen TV will provide broadcasters with the
voluntary option of offering a higher-quality viewing experience, an IP-based
infrastructure and greater interactivity with viewers,” said NAB
President and CEO Gordon Smith. “We believe our viewers will be the
beneficiaries of new services ranging from breathtaking picture quality to
in-depth emergency alerts and more personalized program content.”
“From 4K UHD TV to
mobility and more, ATSC 3.0 offers consumers the most immersive viewing
experience and more viewing options than ever before,” said Gary
Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association. “Our
television manufacturers are excited to partner voluntarily with broadcasters,
the public safety community and the ATSC to usher in this exciting new Golden
Age of television technology and bring the benefits of this standard to devices
throughout the home and beyond.”
Television Stations believe the Next-Gen broadcast standard will give us even
greater opportunities to pursue our public service missions of education,
public safety and civic leadership,” said Patrick Butler, president
and CEO of APTS. “The FCC’s timely adoption of the new standard may
also help public television stations save money by combining some of the
investments needed to deploy the new standard and to affect the repacking
transition required by the broadcast spectrum auctions.”
“AWARN will provide a resilient
and pervasive emergency communications system for a 21st Century America, a
major upgrade to systems we have now,” said John Lawson, executive
director of the AWARN Alliance. “In response to manmade and natural
threats, AWARN can deliver rich media, geo-targeted, and multilingual content—including video, storm tracks, evacuation routes, flood maps, and
earthquake early warnings. And these alerts can reach millions of people
simultaneously, even when the cellular network overloads or the grid goes down.
ATSC 3.0 makes all of this possible."
David Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair BroadcastGroup, one of the most active proponents of ATSC 3.0, said,
“We are delighted to see the consumer electronics and public safety industries join broadcasters in taking our joint industries into the 21st century with a dramatic improvement in our distribution capabilities. Freeing the broadcasting industry as a powerful engine of innovation has been Sinclair’s long-sought goal. This petition is an important first step, and our hope is that the FCC will move with great speed to unleash that innovation.”
Elements of the Next-Gen TV standard
will be on
display at NAB Show
April 18-21 in South Upper Hall of the Las Vegas
Convention Center. In addition to featuring the first live Next-Gen TV
broadcast in the U.S. originating from the “ATSC 3.0
Studio” (SU16712), the “ATSC 3.0 Broadcast Pavilion”
(SU15709 – SU15814) offers broadcasters a variety of new
equipment options and key technologies. The “ATSC 3.0 Consumer
Experience” (South Upper Lobby) is providing demonstrations on the
benefits of the new standard for viewers.
For more information about the
Next-Gen TV standard, please watch this video
produced by Pearl, a consortium of major U.S. broadcast companies working on