NAB 2016: LG, Korean Broadcasters Demo ATSC 3.0 Progress

LAS VEGAS—LG Electronics said its once again collaborating with Korean broadcasters KBS and SBS to demonstrate real-world implementation of ATSC 3.0.

In the Korean broadcasting exhibit in the ATSC 3.0 Broadcast Pavilion at the NAB Show, KBS and SBS will show how over-the-air ATSC 3.0 will deliver pristine 4K Ultra HD video on LG 65-inch 4KTVs equipped with ATSC 3.0 demodulator/tuner chips.

“Korean terrestrial broadcasters including KBS are preparing to launch the commercial UHD broadcasts with advanced services, including electronic service guides, emergency alerts and video-on-demand, by February 2017. Our collaboration with LG at the NAB Show demonstrates our unique UHD service in the U.S. for the first time,” said Byeong-Ryeol Park, technology executive managing director at KBS, which has been conducting terrestrial UHD experimental broadcasts since 2012.

SBS Technical Director Dr. Young-Soo Park said the ATSC 3.0 demonstrations at the NAB Show set the stage for implementation of next-generation broadcasting in Korea in advance of over-the-air 4K broadcasts of 2018 Winter Olympic Games. “With Korea preparing to launch terrestrial UHD TV commercial services in early 2017, we hope our alliance with LG at the NAB Show inspires other broadcasters around the world to have the confidence to also move ahead with next-gen broadcasting.”

ATSC 3.0’s progress in Korea is in fact significant for the United States, according to Sam Matheny, the NAB’s executive vice president and chief technology officer. “As U.S. broadcasters consider their ATSC 3.0-related business models and implementation plans, there is keen interest in South Korea and their fast-track launch of next-generation television broadcasting,” he said.

ATSC 3.0 is an IP-based broadcasting system that combines broadcasting and broadband. The KBS-SBS-LG demonstrations at the NAB Show include IP technologies based on the Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP, or “DASH” streaming media format and the Real-Time Object Delivery Over Unidirectional Transport IP delivery protocol, aka “ROUTE.”

“ATSC 3.0 represents the next frontier for broadcast television. Korean broadcasters and manufacturers take great pride in their important role in developing, demonstrating and implementing next-gen broadcasting in Korea and in the U.S.,” said Dr. K.Y. Kwak, executive vice president of LG’s Advanced Standard Research & Development Lab.

The KBS and SBS demonstrations with LG at the NAB Show build on 4K ATSC 3.0 broadcast field tests in Korea. LG said that it and KBS demonstrated the DASH/ROUTE IP technologies delivering advanced emergency alerting and electronic service guide data in an end-to-end live terrestrial broadcast a couple of weeks ago. LG, SBS and other vendors demoed a live end-to-end 4K Ultra HD broadcast in February. The broadcast used a live camera feed with real-time IP transmissions from the SBS network studio in Mokdong to the broadcaster’s Gwanak Mountain transmitter. The IP signals transmitted over the air on SBS Channel 53 were then received using a simple antenna and decoded by a 4K Ultra HDTV ATSC 3.0 receiver developed by LG Electronics.

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Korea to Launch ATSC 3.0 Broadcasting in 2017
Several Korean broadcasters announced this week that they will begin transmitting ATSC 3.0 OTA broadcasts starting in February 2017. The news comes after the two broadcast networks, SBS and MBC—in conjunction with LG Electronics, ETRI and several equipment vendors—announced the first successful live end-to-end ATSC 3.0 broadcast in the country, and represents perhaps the best confirmation yet that the ATSC 3.0 next generation broadcast standard is on schedule to be completed within the next 12 months.