Posted on February 2, 2015 in ATSC News
(And Why They Matter to ATSC)
International CES® 2015 is one for the history books. Literally thousands of ATSC-equipped displays and receivers greeted the more than 170,000 attendees experiencing the cacophony of sizzling new home entertainment, mobile and automotive technologies and features. THE STANDARD looks at “5 Cool Things from CES” and why they matter to ATSC.
1. TRULY MOBILE SOCIETY. Both Audi and Mercedes showed autonomous (self-driving) cars.
Why it matters to ATSC: When you no longer need to pay attention to the road, you can pay attention to something else, like watching local TV news for short distance commuters, and network entertainment for longer distance commuters, all delivered via ATSC 3.0.
2. BETTER PIXELS. At CES, the “other” TV Everywhere was Ultra HD, with 4K screens at all points in space or viewable in all directions, virtually at all times. And there were more superlatives than ever before at various UHD exhibits (world’s first, world’s largest, world’s thinnest, world’s most <fill in the blank>, etc.).
Why it matters to ATSC: Ultra HD capability is a core requirement of ATSC 3.0. Until CES 2015, HDR and WCG had only been discussed as theoretically significant improvements to picture quality. Now there’s no doubt – the difference can be seen across the room! The ATSC is in a strong position to lead the way in delivering not just more pixels but better pixels. And based on what we saw at CES, 4K Ultra HD is looking like it may be a real market driver.
3. NEW ENG TECHNOLOGY? Drones (excuse me—unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs) were literally the buzz at CES—small, medium and large devices buzzing all around exhibit hall attendees (although generally inside safety cages and nets). And according to an FAA executive on a CES conference panel, the FAA is on the precipice of adopting new rules to open up reasonable commercial UAV use.
Why it matters to ATSC: If you’ve ever seen shots from a 4K Go-Pro mounted on a UAV, you’ll agree that an important new tool is being added to TV production grammar that can produce gorgeous and compelling images from vantage points that just weren’t practical until recently. The implications for broadcast TV storytelling and news gathering delivered to consumers via ATSC transmission standards are profound.
4. NEW CONTENT BUNDLES. Sling TV, the new and much reported over-the-top (OTT) offering of linear TV programming announced at CES 2015, will include some popular cable channels but no local or commercial broadcast network channels. It’s available initially in LG webOS Smart TVs and Samsung smart TVs. By adding an over-the-air TV antenna, you’ll have a respectable bundle of broadcast, cable and broadband programs, all for the monthly price of 20 bucks plus Internet service.
Why it matters to ATSC: Sling TV augmented with a broadcast TV antenna is a pretty compelling proposition for the cable cutters and cable-nevers. Since all TVs have ATSC broadcast tuners in them, OTT service Sling TV is also incentive for promotional marketing of ATSC broadcast service with an OTA antenna. This also exemplifies that a huge range of options are coming into place for consumers to receive content where and how they want it. Broadcast will be in that mix with ATSC 3.0, offering capabilities for conditional access having flexibility to deliver both ad-supported and subscription services via an antenna.
5. AND THE EMMY GOES TO… Not a cool technology from CES exactly, but it was pretty cool watching ATSC receive an Emmy for the development of the A/85 Recommended Practice on controlling audio loudness, the foundation for the CALM Act.
Why it matters to ATSC: Corporate pride aside, the award proves the importance of standards and how the work we do reaches millions of people every day and is worthy of such high praise and recognition.
THE STANDARD thanks ATSC Board members Lynn Claudy of NAB, Brian Markwalter of CEA, Sam Matheny of NAB and Glenn Reitmeier of NBC Universal for their insightful review of CES 2015.
Posted in ATSC News
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The Advanced Television Systems Committee, Inc., is an international, non-profit organization developing voluntary standards and recommended practices for digital terrestrial broadcasting. ATSC member organizations represent the broadcast, broadcast equipment, motion picture, consumer electronics, computer, cable, satellite, and semiconductor industries. ATSC also develops digital terrestrial broadcasting implementation strategies and supports educational activities on ATSC standards.