NextGen TV Eyes December Launch in Seattle

(Image credit: Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

SEATTLE & CINCINNATI—The broadcast industry in Seattle is expected to get an early Christmas present, as Tegna-owned KONG-TV is expected to begin NextGen TV broadcasts in early December. The station is working with GatesAir on the technological infrastructure, according to a joint announcement.

KONG-TV serves the Seattle-Tacoma market in Washington state. The plan is for KONG-TV and KING 5, the NBC affiliate in Seattle, to broadcast ATSC 3.0 using KONG-TV as the host. This is still pending final FCC approval.

GatesAir will assist in the process by supplying its Maxiva ULXTE-30 liquid-cooled transmitter to support over-the-air transmission of the NextGen TV signal. The transmitter will be equipped with a Maxiva XTE exciter. GatesAir is also expected to provide installation and commissioning support in the leadup to the launch.

“The transition to NextGen TV requires cooperation from all stakeholders as we begin shaping the future of local broadcast television in Seattle and across Tegna markets,” said Kurt Rao, senior vice president and chief technology officer for Tegna. “GatesAir has been a valued partner in this process, and we’re proud to work with their team to bring NextGen TV to our Seattle audience.”

GatesAir CEO Bruce D. Swali says that GatesAir transmitters help enable many of the new features that NextGen TV touts, including 4K UHD TV, immersive audio and advanced emergency alerting. He also says that this installation will serve as a foundation for a future ATSC 3.0 single frequency network (SFN) architecture, which would strengthen Tegna’s NextGen TV signal and extend its coverage throughout the Seattle-Tacoma region.

KONG-TV is expected to begin informing over-the-air viewers in the Seattle-Tacoma market in early November about the upcoming transition to NextGen TV. OTA viewers will be required to rescan their TVs to receive the NextGen TV signal. For cable, satellite or streaming viewers of KONG-TV, no action is required.

For more information on NextGen TV's rollout, follow TVT's updating coverage on ATSC 3.0 deployments.