NextGen TV: PMVG, DigiCAP, WCTE Launch New 3.0 Testbed Site

Photo of those involved in launching the new testbed site
(Image credit: PMVG)

BOULDER, Colo.—The Public Media Venture  Group (PMVG), Korea Radio Promotion Association (RAPA), and WCTE (Cookeville, Tenn.) have announced the successful  launch of an ATSC 3.0 demonstration site at W35DZ-D, a low-power television station owned by PMVG. 

The new testbed, located on WCTE’s Monterey, Tenn., transmitter site, will showcase the potential of ATSC 3.0 technology for public media.  

PMVG, RAPA, and WCTE anticipate that the station will begin providing a full ATSC 3.0 service to the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee and Kentucky this fall. 

“We are excited about the new capabilities ATSC 3.0 can bring. As a public station in rural Tennessee, we see  3.0’s potential to better serve our community by enabling us to add more services and distribution channels,”  said WCTE Station Manager Craig Lefevre. “The testbed will not only benefit the Upper Cumberland region, but  also inspire the broader industry to explore the possibilities of 3.0.”  

The testbed was built with the help of DigiCAP, a leading ATSC 3.0 solutions provider based in Seoul, South  Korea. It will serve as a platform for developing and demonstrating various ATSC 3.0 applications and use cases, such as enhanced emergency alerting, interactive education, and datacasting. 

In early August, a delegation of Korean engineers and technology suppliers visited WCTE to set up and test the new station. The delegation included representatives from RAPA, ETRI, DS Broadcast, and DigiCAP. 

Welcomed by  WCTE leadership and technical staff, who were actively involved in the testing process, the delegation met with  local decision makers and business leaders, as well as two members of the Tennessee Legislature, the companies and groups said. 

The delegation  also visited Putnam County’s Emergency Management Center and toured WCTE’s mountaintop transmitter site.  

While on-site in Monterey, the RAPA delegation installed and tested an ATSC 3.0 system configuration  comprising a media encoder, air-chain and modulator, and conducted a successful low power test of the system configuration. 

“As a platform for NextGen testing and development, this  demonstration site will show how public media can continue to lead in delivering cutting-edge content and  services,” explained Marc Hand, founder and CEO of PMVG. “We look forward to working with WCTE and RAPA to experiment with the ATSC 3.0 features that can  benefit all public stations and their communities.” 

“DigiCAP is proud to be part of this significant initiative that will showcase the capabilities of NextGen TV, from  enhanced emergency alerting to targeted education services,” added Joonyoung Park, senior vice president of DigiCAP. “The launch  of the testbed exemplifies the power of international collaboration and demonstrates how technology leaders  and innovative broadcasters can come together to drive the future of broadcasting.”  

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.