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NextGen TV Comes to the Nation’s Capital

U.S. Capitol
(Image credit: Future)

WASHINGTON—Sinclair Broadcast Group deployed ATSC 3.0 (aka NxtGen TV) in the Washington, D.C. region this week as its Class A digital station, WIAV, Channel 30 began low-power broadcasts. SInclair has released a video explaining the deployment and says the launch “sets the stage” for deployment of major full-powered TV network affiliates in the Capital region later this month. 

NextGen TV combines over the air broadcasting with IP, bringing a large variety of new services and capabilities to over the air TV, including advanced emergency alerting, distance learning, mobile reception, 4K video and immersive audio and DVR-type services. 

Also this week, broadcasters in Houston announced the largest deployment of NextGen TV so far, with 10 stations joining the lineup of NextGen TV broadcasts. According to the ATSC, NextGen TV is now broadcasting in 39 markets and is projected to reach 45% of U.S. households by the end of the year. 

To prep WAIV for ATSC 3.0, Sinclair is deploying a single frequency network to improve reception, one of the first such deployments the station group has undertaken for NextGen TV, according to Mark Aitken, Senior Vice President of Advanced Technology for Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Although ATSC 3.0 is not compatible with ATSC 1.0 TV sets, new models from Sony, Samsung and LG are on the market with ATSC 3.0 capabilities and it’s expected that additional vendors will be announced at next month’s CES in Las Vegas. The ATSC is currently in the middle of a nine-week, holiday multichannel, nationwide advertising campaign in NextGen TV markets to promote the standard.

The launch of ATSC 3.0 in Washington is of particular significance because it will allow broadcasters to better promote the technology to lawmakers, Aitken said. 

“The promise of advanced content distribution is now here for all to see.  The features we are demonstrating will soon be standard across the nation with many more use cases to come.  As our government regulators can now witness first-hand, NEXTGEN broadcasting is most definitely worth their efforts in authorizing this revolutionary technology.”   

Watch the video demo at this URL: https://vimeo.com/654193130

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Technology (www.tvtechnology.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.