ONE Media, Sinclair to Tout 3.0 Emergency Communications Benefits at APCO 2019

BALTIMORE—A group of broadcast industry players and technology providers spearheaded by ONE Media and Sinclair Broadcast Group will demonstrate how the public safety community can leverage ATSC 3.0 to improve secure transmission of encrypted IP data and video during the APCO 2019 Annual Conference & Exposition, Aug. 11-15 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

The group, which also includes SpectraRep, Sonim and Saankhya Labs, will demonstrate how broadcast spectrum can be shared across a nationwide network to offer emergency control centers a means to distribute live video and rich media in the same way broadcasters transmit video and data via Next Gen TV.

“We will be demonstrating ATSC 3.0 through various devices with Saankhya [Labs] dongles,” said ONE Media President Mark Aitken.

The demonstrations, which will take place at the SpectraRep booth (No. 676) at the conference, will rely on ATSC 3.0 signals transmitted by Sinclair.

The demos will show attendees real-world applications for 3.0 in emergency communications, including:

  • A means to connect to instant Skype-to-broadcast television distribution, enabling community leaders to have immediate access to local broadcast TV transmission in the event of an emergency;
  • The ability to transform cell phones into a satellite video phone via a Saankhya Labs attachment;
  • A way to receive high-power TV transmissions from an emergency ops center or local TV station via a mobile phone using a small Saankhya Labs dongle; and
  • The means to control a 3.0 network remotely via a DigiCAP gateway to manage the TV signal from the ONE Media lab in Hunts Valley, Md.

Aitken sees the APCO exhibit and demonstrations as another chance to raise an important question: Why aren’t 3.0 receivers being built into wireless phones?

“We continue to have people scratching their heads on the Hill, in state houses and governors’ associations, asking, ‘You can demonstrate this capability. So why isn’t it in wireless telephones today?’” he says. “I don’t know that there is an exact answer to that yet, but we are going to get to that answer.”

ATSC 3.0 was designed with features giving the public access to advanced emergency alerts and information. They include the ability to geotarget warnings to those in the path of danger; a way to “wake up” Next Gen TV sets to display emergency information; the conveyance of rich multimedia to supplement warnings with added information, such as evacuation maps; and the ability to rely on the resiliency of broadcast infrastructure in broadcast markets, which repeatedly has proven its ability to endure natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

Founded in 1935, APCO, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International, is the oldest and largest organization of public safety communications professionals.

More information about the annual gathering is available on the APCO website.

For a comprehensive source of TV Technology’s ATSC 3.0 coverage, see ourATSC3 silo.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.