One of the constant consumer complaints about 4K TV is the lack of broadcast 4K content. This complaint will slowly be addressed this year with the official launch of NextGen TV, the consumer-facing name for the ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard that enables 4K UHD broadcasting.
LG, Samsung, and Sony all announced new 4K and 8K TVs incorporating ATSC at CES, a total of 20 models to start 2020, noted Madeleine Noland, president of ATSC. It is expected that NextGen TV will roll out to more than 60 markets in the U.S., covering more than 70 percent of the population. “Broadcasters are moving forward with unprecedented enthusiasm and cooperation,” Noland noted.
NextGen TV, however, is more than 4K broadcasting. Built on an internet protocol backbone, ATSC 3.0 will deliver additional IP-connected and customizable features such as Voice Boost and consistent audio levels, and interactive features such as the ability to offer additional audio channels and deliver detailed emergency alerts. “Built on an internet protocol backbone, [NextGen TV] promises to create new business opportunities for broadcasters and stakeholders,” Noland observed.
According to NAB president Gordon Smith, deployment of NextGen TV also could signal the convergence of over-the-air (OTA) and over-the-top (OTT) offerings.
The official launch of ATSC 3.0 and NextGen TV comes after an uncomfortably long gestation period. “It didn’t always appear it would occur,” admitted CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro, “but we’re now a model for the rest of the world. We had clarity of the issues, and we knew where we were going. We also spent a lot of time talking to consumers. Consumers love getting information over their televisions.”
At the NextGen TV Central Hall booth (booth #11329), Pearl TV and broadcasters part of the Phoenix Model Market Demonstrations, along with Sony, are demonstrating an application framework; Dolby is demonstrating Voice Boost; Sinclair and ONE Media are conducting live NextGen TV demos; and Gaian Solutions is showcasing stack receiver solutions and cloud-based microservices. Show attendees can get more NextGen TV details at the “What NextGen TV Means For Tech” conference Thursday at 9 a.m. in the Venetian’s Level 4 Marcello Room 4406.
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