Ongoing impacts from COVID-19 could mean broadcasters won’t hit their goal of launching ATSC 3.0 in 40 markets this year, according to Pearl TV’s Anne Schelle. The broadcasting group’s managing director commented as part of a remote panel at a virtual IABM conference and discussed the pandemic’s effects on ATSC 3.0 rollout plans. Coming out of CES in January 2020, she said, the industry was in a good position to launch ATSC 3.0 in 40 markets this year, including multiple new TV models with built-in support for the new over-the-air broadcasting standard. But the pandemic has essentially delayed plans by about a quarter compared to where it should be at this point.
Next year should see broadcasters making advances in the continuing move to IP, greater use of cloud platforms and significant progress for two new wireless technologies: ATSC 3.0 and the various 5G services being rolled out by wireless carriers. Above, a Sony camcorder and prototype 5G transmitter were used to test camera backhauls over Verizon’s 5G network during a recent NBC NFL broadcast.
Its software-based media processing solution will work with Pearl TV and others in the first collaborative effort to deliver ATSC 3.0 in Phoenix.
Sony and Pearl TV, a consortium of companies pushing the ATSC 3.0 next-gen TV standards, are co-developing a new, more responsive on-screen program guide. The new program guide is being developed as part of Pearl TV’s ATSC 3.0 model market project in Phoenix.
Anticipating FCC authorization of the ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard on Thursday, the consortium of leading station groups is planning to set up experimental 3.0 station next spring to explore service enhancement and business opportunities. The project will also include creatng a “lighthouse” station to continue regular digital service to existing sets. Joining Pearl (Cox Media, E.W. Scripps, Graham, Hearst, Meredith, Nexstar, Raycom and Tegna) in the effort will be Fox, NBCUniversal and Univision.
The Pearl TV business alliance of eight major broadcast groups; Fox; NBC’s WVIT Hartford, Conn.; Univision; and Verance are working together on a test of the software company’s audio watermark as part of their existing ATSC 1.0 transmissions. The 3.0 audio watermark is compatible and in 3.0, it will enable “the foundational data protocol that triggers … interactivity, personalization and even advanced emergency alerting” on ATSC 3.0 receivers, the parties say.
Television broadcasters around the country today are testing the ATSC 3.0 audio watermark as part of their ATSC 1.0 (A/53) transmission. Not only are the tests aimed at offering them greater insight into who is watching and how internet-connected TV services are used by viewers, but they also offer the chance for participating broadcasters to come out of the chutes running once the next-gen TV standard is finalized and approved by the FCC. Above, NAB’s So Vang at an ATSC 3.0 interactivity demo at the 2016 NAB Show.
Lotame, a data management platform (DMP), is expanding to TV, with what it says is the first-to-market TV DMP. Lotame has been testing its new DMP with Pearl TV, a organization developing digital media and wireless platforms for TV station groups.
“ATSC 3.0 is rounding third base and heading into the home stretch,” says Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV, a consortium of leading station groups that backs 3.0 and commissioned the guide that spells out how stations can efficiently make the move to the next-gen transmission standard.
The IP foundation of next-gen transmission standard ATSC 3.0 means the new standard will make it easier for broadcasters to distribute content across multiple devices, according to Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV. She says it will also allow targeted advertising, improved emergency warning capabilities and other advantages.