Tolka Enters NextGen TV Upgrade Accessory Device Certification Program
First certified NextGen TV upgrade accessory receiver expected for April NAB Show, Pearl TV reported
WASHINGTON D.C.—Tolka has officially become the first ATSC 3.0 software vendor to power devices that have entered the certification process to use the NextGen TV trademark, Pearl TV has announced.
The development of these devices is important because they will allow consumers to watch NextGen TV broadcasts on their current TVs without having to buy a new NextGen TV capable set.
Working collaboratively with Pearl TV's FastTrack program, the Tolka software stack will reside on affordable ADTH-branded receivers planned for retail introduction later this year. In addition, the first certified NextGen TV upgrade accessory receiver is expected to be shown at the April 2023 NAB Show, Pearl TV reported.
"America's broadcasters are proud of the collaborative effort that is bringing free over-the-air next-generation broadcasting to viewers in more than 60 cities across the country," commented Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV. "With consumers already purchasing, on average, more than 13,000 NextGen TV sets every day and more than six million TV receivers equipped with NextGen TV electronics already in homes, the focus now turns to expanding the audience base to provide more connection options for consumers. This remarkable growth underscores why Pearl TV recently launched its Fast Track for NextGen TV program. We're speeding up the process to bring more upgrade accessory receivers and television models to market."
The FastTrack program provides consumer electronics manufacturers with an easier, faster, and more cost-effective process to introduce NextGen TV-compatible products for consumers. It guides device makers through the NextGen TV logo and other conformance requirements—meeting those of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)—and including security and regulatory compliance, testing, and opportunities for distribution and marketing partnerships.
"NAB applauds Tolka on powering the upcoming ADTH NextGen TV upgrade accessory receivers, which have officially begun the process of securing NextGen TV certification," stated Sam Matheny, executive vice president and chief technology officer at the National Association of Broadcasters. "We are optimistic ADTH will achieve certification in time for the 2023 NAB Show and provide first-hand insight into cost-effective, consumer-friendly receivers coming to market that will deliver a complete experience for NextGen TV viewers."
Tolka's software stack on ADTH receivers was demonstrated at the 2023 International CES as one of several products "next for certification" for the NextGen TV mark. Conformance requirements to earn the NextGen TV certification mark are detailed in Pearl's recently published guide for consumer electronics manufacturers.
NextGen TV certification services and tools are provided by Resillion (formerly Eurofins Digital Testing) on behalf of the CTA and the NAB, which joined forces in 2019 to launch the innovative logo program. At the 2023 NAB Show, Dr. Bob Campbell, director of engineering at Resillion, will be delivering an update on the certification program's progress and the latest developments in accessory device compatibility, the companies reported.
"The NextGen TV logo is essential to maximize device sales, demonstrating compliance to the standards and giving consumers confidence in a product," said Dr. Campbell. "Resillion is keen to assist any company looking to carry the mark and hopes ADTH will be one of many certified NextGen TV accessory devices on display at NAB Show."
NextGen TV is the first major overhaul to the Advanced Television Systems Committee's standard for receiving over-the-air (OTA) signals in 25 years. There are more than 120 television models that support NextGen TV at retail from Hisense, LG, Samsung and Sony. Now broadcasting in more than 50 markets reaching 60% of U.S. households, NextGen TV is expected to reach 75% of U.S. television households by the end of 2023.
TV Tech has been tracking all of those deployments here (opens in new tab) and here (opens in new tab).
By the end of 2025, half of all televisions sold are expected to be available with dual HDTV and NextGen TV reception. Having an affordable alternative to investing in a new NextGen TV receiver without a built-in display is essential to meet the portion of the potential viewing audience that does not have television sets that support the standard.
Manufacturers and members of the broadcast industry interested in participating in the FastTrack program can review the resource guide at https://pearltv.com/for-ce-makers/ (opens in new tab) or contact Pearl TV at email@example.com.
"Broadcasters are launching new markets almost every week, offering free over-the-air TV service that is enhanced with better video and audio – including the Dolby Voice + system that gives consumers more control. We look forward to working with any company interested in developing certified products to serve this growing market," Schelle said.
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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.