PLYMOUTH, Wisc.—Heartland Video Systems learned a lesson 20 years ago during the transition from analog TV to ATSC 1.0-based DTV that is proving to be valuable as broadcasters once more transition, this time to NextGen TV service.
“When we were integrating ATSC 1.0, there was always a rush to get stations on the air quickly,” recalls Dennis Klas, company CEO. “This was a challenge because everyone was working with new technologies with little integration history. As ATSC 3.0 came into view, Heartland made a commitment to build an integration lab where we could test connectivity between different ATSC 3.0 products.”
The integration lab enabled Heartland Video to gain experience working with products from prominent suppliers all under the same roof, making it possible to run different product combinations and predict results. Just as with 1.0, broadcasters deciding to deploy ATSC 3.0 are placing equipment orders with aggressive turn-on schedules, says Klas. However, this time around the knowledge and experience gained in the lab is helping the integrator meet these demands.
While working with Pearl TV, Heartland learned about the success of member stations with ATSC 3.0 technology from DigiCAP, says Heartland Senior Systems Engineer Mike Schmidt. “Because we like to test all available prominent suppliers, we evaluated their technology,” says Schmidt.
Klas found DigiCAP offered technology that could prove useful to some of Heartland’s broadcast clients. “We also found DigiCAP to be very responsive to our requests, and [DigiCAP] has a forward-looking technology view, especially in app development,” he says. “We have implemented their air chain technology with several station groups with very positive results."
According to DigiCAP Senior Vice President of Business Development Sang Jin Yoon, DigiCAP and Heartland share the belief that lab testing to integrate 3.0 products is a fruitful strategy. “When we saw their integration lab, we immediately recognized a like-minded commitment to proactively work with new technology.”
DigiCAP built its integration lab in 2017 to ensure South Korean broadcasters could begin offering over-the-air NextGen TV service to transmit live coverage of the 2018 South Korean Winter Olympics in 4K.
Phil Kurz is contributing editor to TV Technology
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