DigiCAP Helps Phoenix Model Market Advance ATSC 3.0 Transmission Tech

DigiCAP is helping broadcasters manage deployment of key broadcast equipment technology needed for the transition to ATSC 3.0 (NextGen TV).

Before TV broadcasters launched the ATSC 3.0 Phoenix Model Market project, DigiCAP had already completed installations of ATSC 3.0 distribution chain technology for South Korean broadcasters in the lead-up to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. These early installations used five separate components, one for each main ATSC 3.0 distribution function, and were integrated into every participating Korean broadcaster by the second half of 2017. This was the world’s first commercial deployment of ATSC 3.0 that enabled Korean broadcasters to transmit live 4K images during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

About three months after the Olympic deployment, DigiCAP received an invitation to join the Phoenix Model Market project. DigiCAP developers applied the lessons learned from the “five box” installations at the Olympics and moved toward creating a unified software-based distribution chain where all functions could be delivered on a single, commercial, off-the-shelf server.

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As a result, the DigiCAP ATSC 3.0 distribution chain sent to the Phoenix Model Market was the first completely virtualized ATSC 3.0 distribution chain tested in a public demonstration anywhere in the world.

“We launched the Phoenix Model Market project to help both broadcasters and equipment providers test out the new technology in a living ATSC 3.0 broadcast environment, and we’re very pleased to have companies like DigiCAP working to develop new solutions that will benefits the entire ecosystem,” said Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV, which is coordinating activities for the Phoenix Model Market.

The DigiCAP product testing that occurred in Phoenix showed opportunities for improvement. While the basic functions of the distribution chain performed extremely well, a way to improve the user interface and installation procedures surfaced.

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“During the Phoenix Model Market testing we saw an opportunity to simplify the installation process. Since we had just moved to a compact software-based product, we saw the opportunity to include a simplified software installer system with the product. By adopting it, the installation of our distribution chain system could be similar to how a consumer software program is installed,” said Sang Jin Yoon, DigiCAP SVP.

Yoon also described how the Phoenix Model Market project helped DigiCAP redefine their user interface; “Testing in Phoenix showed us that our interface could be optimized for the U.S. market. American broadcasters have different expectations of user interface design and what level of control should be shared. In addition, we found U.S. broadcasters have different expectations of which color combinations the control screens should be.”

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Feedback from the Phoenix Model Market project and others led DigiCAP to completely redesign the user interface to better reflect U.S. broadcaster requirements and needs to control access.

Finally, DigiCAP extended its 24/7 system monitoring and service model first built to support Korean Broadcasters to now accommodate U.S. users. Today, DigiCAP distribution chain systems, along with the content protection system, can be monitored at any time for system health and resiliency from a monitoring station.

DigiCAP continued distribution chain technology development, and at the end of 2018 announced the capability for their gateway system to be deployed on cloud services such as Amazon Web Services.

After many tests and improvements, DigiCAP’s ATSC 3.0 distribution chain was tested live on the air with the Phoenix Model Market this past November.


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