LAS VEGAS—As broadcasters continue to deploy ATSC 3.0, the NAB Show, April 23-27, will shine a spotlight on NextGen TV, with its presence being felt as soon as show attendees enter the Las Vegas Convention Center.
ATSC 3.0 will be center stage at the “Future of Delivery” pavilion in the newly opened West Hall of the LVCC, giving the ATSC and attendees more room to network and showcase advances. Among the highlights in the pavilion will be several new consumer products as well as new ways to monetize the advanced broadcast standard, according to ATSC president Madeleine Noland.
“We’re expecting to see new set-top receivers and antenna products as well as updates on how ATSC 3.0 will play an emerging role in distance education, the automotive and other new verticals,” she said.
Noland observed that the number of manufacturers with ATSC 3.0 receivers is continuing to increase, which is even more of an incentive for broadcasters to start airing NextGen TV.
“We left Las Vegas in January at CES with a commitment from Hisense that they’ll soon be shipping their first ATSC 3.0-enabled sets, and a prediction from the Consumer Technology Association that sales of integrated receivers will grow by 50 percent year over year, with some 4.5 million receivers expected to be sold this year from Hisense, LG, Samsung, and Sony.”
Sam Matheny, executive vice president of technology and CTO for NAB, is also predicting a groundswell in 3.0 activity this year, and advised that the April show is the place to prepare for this.
“As the rollout of NextGen TV across the country ushers in a new age of broadcasting, NAB Show offers a platform for broadcasters to hear about the lessons learned, features unlocked and opportunities created,” said Matheny. “From station owners to engineers to sales managers, we look forward to guiding NAB Show attendees through the next chapter of broadcast television service and how the technology can best serve the evolving needs of our millions of viewers.”
Reaching Critical Mass
Dave Folsom, engineering lead for the Pearl TV group and someone who’s accumulated a wealth of information on transmission and reception of ATSC 3.0 in connection with the Phoenix Model Market project, also emphasized that 2022 is going to be the year that ATSC 3.0 television reaches “critical mass” in the United States, and stressed that “knowledge certainly is power,” when it comes to being ready to move to the new standard.
“This is an evolutionary year for NextGen TV,” said Folsom. “There continues to be great interest in the basic technology as well as its many capabilities such as its broadcaster application or the broadband delivery of services for example.
“There are always multiple reasons why you should attend the NAB Show,” Folsom added. “There is obviously the importance of educating yourself about the technological and business changes in broadcasting. Also, seeing the newest solutions available from the equipment manufacturers is always a strong reason. Lastly, at the convention the chance to compare notes with your peers through the seminars and meetings provides the opportunity to gain experience how similar problems to yours have been solved elsewhere.”
Folsom also predicted that attendees will witness some new innovations in 3.0 gear at this year’s NAB Show.
“A lot of NextGen TV test and terminal equipment that has been available evolved from DVB T2 equipment modified for ATSC 3.0,” he said.” Now they’re developing equipment aimed specifically at ATSC 3.0. I believe that encoder manufacturers will be showing evolutions in their software as well.”
While a full compilation of exhibitors showing ATSC 3.0 gear was not available at press time, you can be sure the NextGen TV equipment suppliers listed below will be joined by numerous others ready to provide the latest information on their products, as well as the best methodology for moving your station to 3.0 and reaping the benefits.
NextGen TV Signal Generation & Processing
First and foremost in establishing a NextGen TV service is equipment for creating the 3.0 signal itself, and exhibitors are promising much in this area.
DVEO is planning to showcase a number of 3.0 products, including the Cortina 4K IP: ATSC 3.0TM, a hybrid HEVC encoder designed to be compliant with the ATSC’s A/300 System, A/331 Signaling-Delivery-Sync-FEC, A/341 Video-HEVC, and A/342 Audio standards which are all now in either in Candidate, Proposed, or Finalized Standards stages.
Sencore will show its first-of-a-kind TSX 3800 ATSC 3.0 to TS multichannel transcoder that plays a very essential role in launching NextGen TV by providing a means for maintaining delivery of program streams to MVPDs, as 3.0 video/audio codecs and media wrappers aren’t compatible with current MVPD systems.
In addition to its transmitter line, Rohde & Schwarz is showing their SDE 900 ATSC 3.0 encoder.
Synamedia will feature its software-based vDCM encoder that encodes or transcodes live video and audio signals for broadcast, IPTV, and adaptive bitrate HTTP streaming. It supports a wide range of input/output formats and audio/video codecs, and can operate on-premises as a software-defined appliance or on a public cloud or private cloud, and handles HEVC encoding, DASH packaging, statistical multiplexing, and DRM security functionalities.
Powering ATSC 3.0 Broadcasts
For those planning to implement a new service or upgrade existing 3.0 transmission facilities, there’ll be plenty to choose from at the 2022 Show.
Comark will spotlight NextGen TV with a range of products including the “latest generation” of E-Compact EC700HP-BB3, its UHF air-cooled DTV transmitter series. These offer high-efficiency signal delivery and full ATSC 3.0-compatiblity with the company’s EXACT-V2 exciter technology. The CDS (Comark Digital Services) group’s latest ATSC 3.0 integrated technology and software solutions will also be displayed, including a complete “glass-to-glass” demo, with HD camera signals processed for 3.0, transmitted and then received on a NextGen TV.
GatesAir is ready to guide booth visitors on their path to NextGen TV with a range of products and software upgrades, including the company’s ATSC 3.0 Maxiva XTE exciter and Intraplex Ascent SRT cloud transport platform. The company’s ATSC 3.0 modulation software has also been enhanced to support additional program streams and multimedia services.
Rohde & Schwarz will be showing their Tx9 series of transmitters for launching 3.0 in a full range of power levels. Models include the TLU9 low-power UHF transmitter/gap filler, the TMU9/TMV9evo medium power transmitter, and high-power THU9/THV9evo.
Antennas will likely be on the shopping list of those wishing to improve their coverage through ATSC 3.0-enabled single frequency networks (SFNs). Dielectric will use the show to officially launch their newly developed TFU-WB-LP low-power antenna series.
ERI is also ready to assist in NextGen TV SFN deployments with its line of low-power AL and AL PLUS series of UHF antennas, as well as UF-3000 and UF-5000A bandpass filters that are ideally suited for SFN applications.
Testing & Monitoring ATSC 3.0
As much of putting an ATSC 3.0 signal on the air involves software and accurate control of parameters, critical monitoring of OTA (and IP-delivered) signals is key to a successful NextGen TV operation. You’ll find everything you need to inspect and quantify every nuance of these data streams at the NAB Show.
Atlanta DTH will be showing their new NexGen-Solo USB dongle for receiving ATSC 1.0/3.0 broadcasts on Android TV, Android set-top-boxes, as well as tablets and laptops with Windows and Linux operating systems. It will also show its new ATSC 3.0 Gateway, a compact plug-in receiver that offers easy off-air reception of NextGen TV and display on any IP-compatible smart display.
Visitors to DVEO’s booth will want to inspect the VMON: ATSC 3.0TM multichannel MMT (MPEG Media Transport) decoder/viewer and basic analyzer that allows simultaneous viewing of multiple MMT streams and provides MMT/ROUTE stream analytical information. Also look for DVEO’s ATSC 3.0 receiver/decoder for critical monitoring of off-air signals. Featuring a frequency-agile tuner, high-definition ATSC 3.0 UHD/HD/SD demodulator, and HEVC/H.265 decoder, it decodes IP streams as well as demodulating 3.0 RF, and includes SNMP management and on-screen diagnostics.
Sencore plans to show their SLM 1530 ATSC 3.0 handheld signal level meter which provides support for ATSC 3.0, 1.0, and cable QAM-B signals. It offers a wide range of RF measurements, including signal level, BER, MER, S.N and constellation diagrams. Also, look for the new ARD 3000 series of ATSC 3.0 receiver/decoders.
Synamedia’s MEG (Media Edge Gateway) ATSC 3.0 receiver will be of special interest to stations wanting to critically monitor their NextGen TV product. It’s an application-specific gateway designed with software-based architecture and accommodates both 3.0 and 1.0 signals.
Triveni Digital will feature the new StreamScope XM ATSC 3.0 monitor for professional monitoring, auditing, and logging of NextGen TV signals. This latest StreamScope entry also includes long-term monitoring and reporting capabilities for assistance in “postmortem” analysis. The company will also spotlight its SkyScraper XM ATSC 3.0 content distribution system that supports professional content distribution and NRT distribution applications over ATSC 3.0, along with optimized data delivery features via hybrid OTA and broadband delivery systems.
NextGen TV Services
As the move to an ATSC 3.0 platform provides broadcasters with a whole new inventory of functionalities they can offer viewers, it’s essential to get in on the ground floor in making such potentially revenue-enhancing services available such as personalized OTT and cross-platform advertising. Several companies specialize in assisting broadcasters in this area, and are planning to be at the 2022 NAB Show.
These include the Fincons Group, which offers a range of consulting and technology integration services. Asked about their presence at this year’s NAB Show, Fincons’ executive sales director, Oliver Botti commented: “We are living in an “Intelligent Content” era, where data is driving content production, distribution and monetization. The 2022 NAB Show will be a great opportunity to share latest ATSC 3.0 applications which leverage the huge availability of data relating to content, advertising and consumers. We are super excited to be a part of this event where we will share some of our newest developments in ATSC 3.0 broadcast apps with major broadcasters.”
Exhibits Devoted to NextGen TV
In addition to the commercial displays of NextGen TV gear, the Connect “Experiential Zone” located in the NVCC’s West Hall, is another “must see” exhibit for those wishing to stay informed on the latest 3.0 developments and witness them in action. The Zone is presented by Heartland Video Systems (HVS) and will feature equipment from multiple companies.
“The ‘NextGen Now’ area provides an overview of NextGen TV workflow as it is being used today,” said Dennis Klas, HVS president and owner. “As an experienced integrator involved in over 30 ATSC 3.0 market launches, HVS [will showcase] 3.0 equipment from multiple manufacturers and explain their function within the air-chain.”
He added that his company is ready to assist prospective ATSC 3.0 adopters with “real world guidance” on implementing NextGen TV workflows.
Visitors to the exhibit will get to view end-to-end 3.0 encoding and transmission via the following setups:
- Synamedia encoding followed by a Triveni Digital ROUTE/Gateway feeding a Rohde exciter and displayed on a Samsung receiver.
- Ateme encoding via an Enensys ROUTE/Gateway and sent to a Teamcast exciter with display on an LG Electronics TV.
- Harmonic encoding with a DigiCAP ROUTE/Gateway feeding a GatesAir exciter and displayed on a Sony NextGen receiver.
These demos will include a look at the various graphical user interfaces associated with these three “air chains,” and the various 3.0 parameter settings available. The NextGen Now exhibit will feature equipment from DS Broadcast, SAF, Sencore, VideoFlow, Video Clarity, and DekTec.
Additional Educational Opportunities
Although a number of organizations that have provided programs, seminars and training on new technologies at past NAB Shows weren’t ready by press time to announce their 2022 plans, attendees will certainly want to spend time at the NAB’s Future Park scalable video coding exhibit, which will demonstrate how a NextGen TV receiver can combine over-the-air (base layer) and broadband-delivered (enhancement layer) signals to provide a highly-robust content stream for mobile devices and a fully-detailed signal for home viewing.
Also look for NextGen TV presentations as part of the Sunday, April 24 Broadcast Engineering & Information Technology (BEIT) Conference in the Connect Inspiration Theater in the LVCC’s West Hall. Organizers are promising both 3.0-related panel discussions and technical paper presentations.
A full list of conference proceedings has not been made available yet, but as 2022 is shaping up to be the “big year” for NextGen TV, attendees will not be disappointed.
For more information, visit nabshow.com/2022.
Get the TV Tech Newsletter
The professional video industry's #1 source for news, trends and product and tech information. Sign up below.