ONE Media to Test Next-Gen Standard in Baltimore-DC Area

ARLINGTON, VA.—ONE Media, a joint investment between Sinclair Broadcast Group and Coherent Logix, tasked with developing a next generation broadcast platform, has been granted Special Temporary Authority by the Federal Communications Commission to operate an experimental facility in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore markets to implement a single frequency network using the base elements of the new ATSC 3.0 transmission standard. The full-power, multi-site test platform using channel 43 in both markets will deploy a full range of 'Next Gen' services that include fixed, portable and mobile capabilities.

The test is designed to provide real-time assessments of quality of service using the new Internet Protocol-based standard currently being reviewed by the Advanced Television Systems Committee. The permittee for channel 43 in Washington has granted its consent for the test in support of the entire broadcast industry. 

"With the build-out of a first-of-its-kind SFN platform, ONE Media's ATSC 3.0 technology will be used to drive an understanding of the value new tools bring to broadcasting," stated Kevin Gage, EVP of Strategic Development and CTO of ONE Media. "We intend this new platform to be a place where the broadcast industry can unite to launch new and exciting consumer and B2B products and services." The SFN facilities are designed to prove-out the highly anticipated capabilities of the new broadcast transmission standard including demonstrating the transmission of separate program elements using the same channel in two adjacent markets. Among other things, the SFN will permit broadcasters to "zone" programming and advertising to discrete parts of a station's market using the same channel.

"We now have a place to innovate, and together with our Memorandum of Understanding partners, Samsung and Pearl TV, we can bring powerful business ideas into practical demonstrations of opportunities to monetize all of our core assets,” said Mark Aitken, vice president of Advanced Technology for Sinclair Broadcast Group. We have started to assemble a team that understands the benefits a multi-site SFN brings to all of the stakeholders." The congested East Coast demonstration sites will permit broadcasters, equipment suppliers, and regulators to test the broadcast platform in real world situations.

"The Next Gen broadcast platform is designed to permit the broadcast industry to evolve after the upcoming incentive auction and allow us to compete with other technologies," said Jerald Fritz, ONE Media's Executive Vice President for Strategic and Legal Affairs. "The dynamic advances in this IP-based platform promise to make broadcasting the new platform of choice for video distribution and beyond. It is precisely the innovation that Congress and the FCC have encouraged and that we are fulfilling. Our demonstration should provide regulators the evidence they need to expedite these dramatic and competitive service improvements." 

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 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 Tech (, 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.