NAB 2016: Seven Vendors Team Up on ATSC 3.0

LAS VEGAS—Digital Alert Systems, Dolby, GatesAir, Harmonic, LG Electronics, Triveni Digital, and Zenith are teaming up to demonstrate live end-to-end ATSC 3.0 workflows for a range of the broadcast capabilities such as 4K and high dynamic range at this year’s NAB Show. Multiple programs of live and prerecorded streams will be displayed in 4K resolution with HDR, delivered at a frame rate of 60 fps, along with next-generation audio. The demonstrations will be the first time that broadcasters can observe eight of the nine core ATSC 3.0 technologies being standardized to provide advanced electronic programming/service guides, HDR-to-standard dynamic range conversion for legacy DTV, and other new services and media types supported by the next-generation broadcast television system.

Pilot (formerly NAB Labs) will assist with providing a live camera feed. The live content will be generated with a state-of-the art camera and then encoded, encapsulated, packaged, and signaled using ROUTE/DASH and MPEG-DASH protocols. Prerecorded content for the demonstrations will be supplied by Harmonic and other ecosystem partners. AWARN emergency alert content will come from WRAL-TV, the NBC affiliate television station based in Raleigh, North Carolina, with rich media content provided by a combination of LG Electronics, Zenith, and Triveni Digital.

Prerecorded content will be streamed from Harmonic’s Spectrum X 4K/UHD media server, encoded in HEVC and MPEG-DASH, via the Harmonic ViBE 4K and Electra X2 encoders, and then prepared for OTA and OTT multiscreen distribution. OTT content will be forwarded to a Harmonic ProMedia X Origin media server for distribution to the Internet.

Triveni Digital is providing several essential components of the ATSC 3.0 ecosystem, including its new GuideBuilder XM signaling and announcement generator with unified functionality per ATSC 3.0 A/331 candidate standard along with support for legacy standards such as ATSC 1.0 PSIP and DVB-SI, and the SkyScraper NRT data transmission system.

The DASDEC-II emergency messaging platform from Digital Alert Systems, a division of Monroe Electronics, will be integrated with Triveni Digital’s GuideBuilder XM and SkyScraper NRT to highlight how broadcasters can deliver advanced emergency alerts and auxiliary public safety information in the ATSC 3.0 environment. The DASDEC-II provides support for EAS/CAP requirements, station multimedia, and first responder communications in both legacy and future ATSC environments. Tight integration between the DASDEC-II and Triveni Digital’s systems offer broadcasters a streamlined package for ATSC 3.0 advanced emergency communications capabilities.

Dolby will demonstrate how broadcasters and consumers can benefit from the immersive and personalized features of AC-4, the next-generation audio codec that is in ballot process for the ATSC 3.0 A/342 candidate standard. The demo will feature the world’s first fully compliant ATSC 3.0 signal with 4K/HDR video and AC-4 audio received by and decoded in an LG 4K/UHD television. In addition, Dolby will demonstrate how broadcasters can capture and deliver HDR video for ATSC 3.0 and derive high-quality SDR video to support current broadcast infrastructure.

GatesAir is providing an ATSC 3.0 modulation system and exciters for the demo. The GatesAir Maxiva XTE is a software-defined platform with exceptional signal processing power and native IP connectivity to optimize multichannel signal transport and delivery for ATSC 3.0 broadcasts. The XTE also integrates high-performance signal correction to address signal imperfections.

The demo equipment will be used in conjunction with LG Electronics 4K UHD TVs, which have been configured to show faster channel change times using both the up/down remote keys and an advanced ESG user interface. The television sets to be used for the demo are built around the world’s first ATSC 3.0 tuner-demodulator chip, recently announced by LG Electronics.

The televisions will be located in the Futures Park as well as in the Consumer Showcase areas of the Las Vegas Convention Center at the 2016 NAB Show so that visitors can fully experience the end-to-end system. Both areas can be found in the upper level of the South Hall, with the Consumer Showcase situated in the lobby, and the Futures Park pavilion at the east end, booth SU15709.