TVT Power Rankings: 5 New Features of ATSC 3.0

Dr. Richard Chernock

America’s TV viewers will be the ultimate beneficiaries of ATSC 3.0, as broadcast television moves to integrate new capabilities and features into the receivers of the future. The new standard will be configurable, scalable, efficient, interoperable, and adaptable. That flexibility is critical as technology continues to evolve. As the chairman of the ATSC’s Technology Group 3, which is assembling the elements of ATSC 3.0, I can see five key advantages for this evolution in technology.

5. Advanced Emergency Alerting

People depend on local broadcasters to keep them informed as emergencies develop – particularly with fast-moving weather events. Advanced Emergency Alerting through ATSC 3.0 will allow broadcasters to target alerts, and possibly even “wake” sleeping devices to make sure the public is kept informed of dangerous conditions.

4. IP Transport 

Internet Protocol is the language of the worldwide web, and the move to ATSC 3.0 will allow us to introduce new ways of broadcasting such as hybrid approaches that merge broadcast and broadband. The viewer gets more choices and more diverse content.

3. Immersive Audio

While we can accommodate up to six channels with ATSC 1.0, the move to “immersive” audio with ATSC 3.0 means that movie viewing and even sports can be more realistic and lifelike. We aren’t limited to stereo left and right speakers. Instead, new systems will deliver a new way of listening to favorite content.

2. Ultra High-Definition TV

Ultra HDTV is here, although there is precious little source content. Ultra HD, and related technologies such as high dynamic range, high frame rate, and wide color gamut, will allow terrestrial broadcasters to continue sending the highest quality signals to viewers. Americans are expected to buy more than 4 million Ultra HDTV sets this year and Hollywood is producing content with millions of pixels. ATSC 3.0 will insure that the highest quality signal is reaching viewers.

1. Robust Mobile Reception

We’ve had mobile digital TV as an “add-on” capability to 20-year old ATSC 1.0 technology, but it wasn’t baked into the standard from the beginning. People’s viewing habits have changed. Mobile is king. Broadcasters know that they have to be at people’s fingertips in order to be relevant – not just on the big screen in the living room.