CES 2023: Sinclair to Demo NextGen TV-Based Datacasting, Hybrid TV Technologies

(Image credit: Sinclair)

LAS VEGAS—Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. and its subsidiary, One Media 3.0, will be demonstrating key enhancements to the NextGen Broadcast standard (ATSC 3.0) at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week. 

Sinclair said that those enhancements are part of Sinclair/One Media 3.0’s vision of a “mobile-first” offering of video and data services as well as the delivery of significant picture quality improvements and offerings that provide a more efficient merger of broadcast and broadband capabilities. 

As part of those efforts, Sinclair will be showing the latest version of Sinclair’s Broadcast App. The App is designed to tap into the fact that viewers today are agnostic on how they receive TV programs so long as the quality is equivalent between providers. It provides a way for broadcast and broadband services to be merged so as to provide the best of over-the-air and Internet delivered content, which will be a key component of new delivery ecosystems, Sinclair said. 

Available both over-the-air and via broadband, the Broadcast App’s menuing technology allows viewers to choose content regardless of how it gets to their screens. 

During the show, Sinclair also said it will demonstrate for the first time the ability to launch the Broadcast App not only from over-the-air NextGen Broadcast (ATSC 3.0) and existing digital TV (ATSC 1.0) transmissions, but also via cable, telco or satellite services through legacy set-top boxes. 

“The beauty of the NextGen Broadcast standard is its ability to both enhance the content we deliver and do it as flexibly as possible,” explained Mark Aitken, president of One Media 3.0 said. “The hybrid nature of television today means we must make it as easy as possible for viewers to take advantage of our offerings.”

In addition, Sinclair said that it would be showing a fully mobile audio ‘Infotainment’ service that is being readied for consumer trials by several auto dealerships in the Baltimore, Md. region.

Drive testing for the system is already underway, Sinclair said. 

The infotainment service uses a single mobile receiver that brings a variety of new services into the age of connected vehicles. Those include enhanced GPS, over-the-air software updates, Infotainment (audio, video and others) and a number of vehicle-to-everything (V2X) and cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) services. 

The demo is designed to build on a recent series of webinars hosted by Sinclair focused on the automotive sector and the value an ATSC 3.0 receiver brings into mobile vehicles.

Also during CES, Sinclair will be showing the work it is doing with USSI Global in the area of electric vehicle charging that combines USSI's digital signage and managed services expertise with Sinclair’s NextGen Broadcast capabilities to provide a first-of-its-kind datacasting offering. 

A prototype EV charging kiosk will be on display at CES. This datacasting application supports multi-tenant advertising and real-time updates of local content, providing a unique personal experience, the companies said. 

“Data Delivery as a Service is the inevitable next step in the evolution of broadcasting, where we can continue to provide exceptional and enhanced video programming and, at the same time, repurpose the remaining capacity of our channels to meet the needs of data users nationwide on market-disrupting terms,” explained Chris Ripley, Sinclair’s president and CEO. “Our partnership with USSI Global opens wide the door to an enticing array of new services that enhance the choices for businesses and individuals alike.”

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.