Report: South Korea Adopts ATSC 3.0

Dr. Kook-yeon Kwak, senior executive vice president of LG Electronics Inc. (left),
and Youngsoo Park, chief technology officer for SBS, discuss Korea’s first test
transmission of 4K Ultra HD signals using ATSC 3.0, last September in Seoul. SEOUL—South Korea has adopted ATSC 3.0, according to the Yonhap News agency. ATSC 3.0 is the digital broadcast television transmission technology standard being developed by the U.S.-based Advanced Television Systems Committee.

South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning went with ATSC 3.0 over Europe’s DVB-T2 for UHD TV broadcasting, following broadcasters there who previously announced they would begin broadcasting with ATSC 3.0 in February. (See “Korea to Launch ATSC 3.0 Broadcasts in 2017,” Feb. 24, 2016.)

The Yonhap item indicated the installed digital TV base is compliant with DVB-T2 and will require a new set-top for the ATSC 3.0 broadcasts. Both of South Korea’s largest electronics manufacturers, LG and Samsung, have participated in test broadcasts of ATSC 3.0 in the United States as well as Korea. A delegation of South Korean broadcasters attended a demonstration of ATSC 3.0 in Las Vegas by Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group last December, and Korean broadcaster SBS ran ATSC 3.0 tests in Seoul three months before that.

Yonhap quoted a ministry official saying that, “The North American standard is better than the European one as the technology provides better transmission quality for viewers.”

In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission has not yet adopted ATSC 3.0, but the agency launched a comment cycle on a petition for it to do so in April. Broadcasters have since asked the FCC to adopt ATSC 3.0 by Oct. 1, 2016.

See our ATSC 3.o silo for more.