3 Pittsburgh Stations Launch 3.0 Broadcasts
Three of Pittsburgh’s network affiliates — Sinclair Broadcast Group’s WPGH (Fox) and WPNT (MyNetworkTV) and Hearst Television’s WTAE (ABC)— on Tuesday became among the first in the nation to begin broadcasting with ATSC 3.0, or NextGen TV, which can support a wide range of features currently in development, such as immersive audio and video (up to 4K), broadcasting to mobile devices, personalized viewing tools, and advanced emergency alerts that provide rich media rather than simple text messages. The new technology also allows full integration with 5G and other broadband-delivered Internet content.
The Pittsburgh launch is one of the first in the country and follows a decade of development of the new technology and a year of planning and preparation by the local stations. BitPath, which is developing new data broadcasting services, led the planning and coordinated efforts across the three stations.
The participating stations have cooperated to ensure that all existing programming remains available to all viewers, regardless of whether they receive their television service by antenna, or by cable or satellite. Antenna viewers should simply rescan their TV sets to ensure full service. Rescan instructions are available at: www.22thepoint.com. Cable and satellite subscribers do not need to take any action.
Rich Cook, general manager of WPGH and WPNT, said: “Broadcasting started here in Pittsburgh 100 years ago. It’s only appropriate then for us to usher in the latest in broadcast innovation. We are excited to continue this legacy and introduce our viewers to an extraordinary new TV experience.”
“Pittsburgh continues to re-invent itself and has welcomed well known innovators like Apple, Uber, Facebook and Google,” said WTAE President-GM Charles W. Wolfertz III. “At WTAE, we are excited to help write the next chapter in Pittsburgh’s storied tradition of innovation by launching the next generation of broadcast television to our viewers throughout western Pennsylvania.”
John Hane, President of BitPath, said: “BitPath is pleased to help WPGH, WTAE and WPNT take this important first step in bringing transformational new services to Pittsburgh and looks forward to bringing new exciting wireless data broadcasting services to the city’s businesses and consumers.”