Pearl TV, Sony Collaborate on 3.0 Program Navigation

LAS VEGAS—The Pearl TV consortium of eight major television station groups is working with Sony Electronics on a new on-screen television program guide designed to respond to viewer voice commands, among other methods, for next-gen ATSC 3.0 televisions and companion devices.

The new navigation tool is part of a larger interactive content environment initiative and will be deployed as part of the recently announced Phoenix [ATSC 3.0] Model Market project involving 10 stations in the market.

“Our finished product for the Phoenix Model Market will be the first Electronic Service Guide with program information from both broadcasters and multichannel providers built with ATSC 3.0 technology,” said Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV, in a press release announcing the collaboration. According to Schelle, the new viewer navigation tool will be “the first fully-compliant implementation of an ATSC 3.0 interactive environment.”

“New applications developed for the ATSC 3.0 platform will control interactive advertising and offer consumers new capabilities, such as accessing digital coupons,” she said in the release. Schelle, who credited Sony for playing “an integral role” in development of the next-gen TV standard since its inception, said the navigation system brings together OTA signals, cable and satellite retransmitted signals and streaming OTT for ATSC 3.0 television viewers.

Mike Fasulo, president and COO of Sony Electronics, commended Pearl TV for its vision and leadership in establishing the Phoenix Model Market, which serves as an open test bed for next-gen TV technology.

“We believe this work will lead to better viewer experiences for consumers as well as provide a great resource for the industry at large,” he said.

Sony will begin participating in the Phoenix Model Market later in 2018; however, at CES in Las Vegas, Jan. 9-12, Pearl will demo Sony’s prototype implementation of the full ATSC 3.0-compliant protocol stack for interested broadcasters.

Sony Semiconductor Solutions, separately, is at the advanced stages of developing a demodulator chip for ATSC 3.0 receivers, Sony said. It has already been tested in the field in North Carolina and Maryland. More field tests are planned for WJW, the ATSC 3.0 experimental station in Ohio.

More information is available on the Pearl TV website

For a comprehensive list of TV Technology’s ATSC 3.0 coverage, see our ATSC3 silo.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.