CEDAR HILL, Texas—If all goes as planned, ARK Multicasting will light up the first two LPTV stations of its planned coast-to-coast Broadcast Internet network based on the ATSC 3.0 standard this month.
The Dallas and Panama City, Fla., stations will be joined by eight others in College Station, Texas, Nashville and Chattanooga, Tenn., Pensacola, Destin, Jacksonville, Melbourne and a second station in Panama City, Fla., before the end of Q1 2022.
ARK Multicasting holds the licenses or construction permits for 283 LPTV stations around the country, positioning the company to deploy Broadcast Internet service to millions of households. The company plans roll out the service at all of the stations over the next 18 months if supply chain problems do not become an issue, it said.
“Broadcast Internet – because of its one-to-many architecture - is ideally suited to move large amounts of data to tens of thousands of consumers at the same time. Our network has the potential to increase the efficiency of 5G wireless networks, enable autonomous vehicles and provide farmers with precision agriculture technologies,” said ARK CEO Josh Weiss.
Several cloud computing and broadcast equipment companies are supplying technology for the deployment, including:
- Hewlett Packard Enterprises, which is providing infrastructure, software and services for the edge-to-cloud platform for the service.
- Comark Digital Services and transmission teams.
- General Data Tech, which will do staging, burn-in and deployment.
- Triveni Digital, which is providing its SkyScraper XM ATSC 3.0 Datacasting System, 3.0 Broadcast Gateway scheduler, GuideBuilder XM 3.0 transport encoder and StreamScope XM Analyzer—all running in a virtualized environment.
- Ateme, which has worked for the past several years with ARK Multicasting, providing compression solutions.
- SpectraRep, which will provide the distance learning solutions to be deployed on the first 10 stations.
- Digital Alert Systems, which will provide emergency alerting.
The deployment marks the beginning of a new chapter for television broadcasting, opening up opportunities not possible before development of the ATSC 3.0 standard. Many of the vendors partnering with ARK Multicasting described the undertaking as being visionary and pioneering.
“In the decades of experience Triveni Digital has in both traditional broadcast and datacasting, there are few things that compare to the excitement I feel about what ARK is deploying. They are true pioneers in this space and Triveni Digital is pleased to be right alongside them,” said Ralph Bachofen, vice president of sales and marketing at Triveni Digital.
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.
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