Posted on December 19, 2023 in ATSC News
As we wrap up the year, I want to wish each and every one of you a joyous holiday season. Whatever you and your loved ones celebrate, may it be filled with warmth, laughter, and happy memories. May you be able to step out of the “busyness” of our professions and life, and simply enjoy the time with family and friends.
Recently, the ATSC Board of Directors held its final meeting of 2023 at the beautiful NAB Headquarters in Washington D.C. Several of us also attended the NAB Holiday Party. What a treat to be hosted at the new offices! The ATSC staff also held a day-long staff retreat where we took time to review our progress and challenges in 2023, and what we plan to accomplish in 2024. It gave me a lot to reflect on, and I’ve come to the conclusion that 2023 was a very good year. Sure, there were bumps in the road, but we kept moving forward and making progress. I am so proud of our staff, board, and members whose commitment to making the best broadcast standard in the world is unwavering.
In 2023, we saw twelve new deployments of ATSC 3.0 now on-the-air in over 70 markets, reaching 70% of U.S. viewing audiences with five launches or additional deployments happening just in the month of December. The deployments included Miami, FL, where recently, two more channels were launched with all four major broadcast networks transmitting with ATSC 3.0. Also going live were Boston, MA; Rochester, NY; Des Moines, IA; San Francisco, CA; South Bend, IN; Reno, NV; Philadelphia, PA; Minneapolis, MN; El Paso, TX, Baton Rouge, LA, and the nation’s #1 market with a population of over 7 million people, New York City! In addition, just last Thursday, New York City added the CW affiliate, joining WCBS (2), WLIW (21), WMBQ-CD (46), WNBC (NBC 4), WNET (13), and WNJU (Telemundo 47) in the Big Apple 3.0 lineup. Those stations launched on a lighthouse hosted by PBS’s The WNET Group in October.
ATSC hit the road and showcased our member’s products and services at CES 2023, the 100th Anniversary of the NAB Show, both in Las Vegas, as well as at ATSC’s own conference held in Washington, D.C. in June and had some fun along the way!
ATSC staff didn’t slow down either. Speaking engagements and attendance at conferences and tradeshows saw staff visit Amsterdam, Antigua, Brazil, Canada, and South Korea, as well as Michigan, New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas in the U.S.
ATSC also celebrated its 40th Anniversary having been chartered on May 11, 1983. The staff, board, and ATSC members all came together for an anniversary party, featuring The Multicasters house band, during our annual conference in June.
Ways to get involved with ATSC in the New Year. ATSC created IT-7, the Caribbean Implementation Team, Chaired by Mark Corl of Triveni Digital; IT-8, the Automotive Implementation Team, Chaired by Mark Barrington of ONEMedia/Sinclair; and PT-9, the Planning Team on Sustainability, Co-Chaired by Robin Hérin, ATEME, and Bill Redmann, InterDigital.
The Caribbean I-Team and the Automotive I-Team are kicking off in January 2024, while the Sustainability Planning Team launched in the fall. The next meeting of the Sustainability Planning Team will be January 3, 2024, with guest speaker, Mr. Sesh Simha who will bring an analysis of World Cup Cricket media distribution in India, and whether mobile broadcast reception might improve sustainability. We look forward to your participation in these exciting groups doing new and innovative work at ATSC.
Many of ATSC’s members and sponsors were in the news in 2023. Here are just a few of the headlines we saw in 2023.
ATSC member Verance Corporation is in the news. The Verance Aspect watermark implements the ATSC audio A/334 watermark specification. Hisense Group will introduce mass market ATSC watermark detection for NextGen TVs across its ATSC 3.0 product line and is the first consumer electronics company to launch watermark detection commercially, thus bringing watermark-enabled interactivity to its NextGen TV sets. The addition of the watermark will make it possible for broadcasters to deliver new interactive experiences to 3.0-equipped Hisense ULED and Laser TVs via cable, satellite, or antenna.
ATSC Platinum Sponsor, Avanci, launches a new patent licensing platform. Avanci has launched Avanci Broadcast as a patent licensing platform for ATSC 3.0, with principal contributors to the standard as licensors. Recognizing that more ATSC 3.0 set-top boxes and TV dongles will be needed for commercial success of the standard, Avanci Broadcast is incentivizing the launch of such products, with potential savings of more than $200,000 in licensing fees for manufacturers.
Improved Conformance Tool Helps Ensure Interoperability for DASH Delivery. ATSC Joins Other Industry Partners to Fund the DASH-IF Conformance Tool. The JCCP (Joint Content Conformance Partners) was funded by ATSC along with DASH-IF, the DVB Project, the Consumer Technology Association® WAVE (Web Application Video Ecosystem) Project, and the HbbTV Association. The JCCP recently released an improved and widely available tool that validates the conformance of DASH content to relevant media specifications as a result of the collaboration between these five industry bodies. While the MPEG DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) specifications describe client behavior, conformance of DASH content is important for interoperability.
The DASH-IF Conformance Tool is available as either an online service or open-source software. The Conformance Tool was launched by DASH-IF over a decade ago and has been continuously updated and extended to test against relevant specifications from other bodies. A joint project undertaken over the past two years has improved the tool, making it more reliable and accessible. Along with DASH content conformance, the new tool has options to check for CMAF and WAVE requirements, and for HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) requirements as well.
2024 Board of Directors. ATSC receives wise guidance and strategic direction from its Board of Directors, who are elected by the membership. Andy Scott (NCTA – The Internet & Television Association) is retiring at the end of this year and will be leaving the ATSC board. He will be missed at ATSC and in the industry. Mark Corl and Jon Fairhurst are completing their terms at the end of this year. Mark is this month’s “Someone You Should Know.” Make sure to check it out. Dr. Yiyan Wu (IEEE BTS) is yielding the IEEE board seat to Guy Bouchard (IEEE CT Soc) with the customary rotation between the two societies within IEEE. I cannot thank each of these gentlemen enough for their service to ATSC and the broadcast community. Mark and Jon will continue to hold important roles as members, with Mark as Chair of S38 Interactivity and IT7 Caribbean, and Jon as Vice Chair of S41 Video. We will continue to rely on them for their contributions to ATSC. I also want to welcome back for a second term, Mark Aitken (Sinclair Broadcast Group), and our latest additions to the board, Guy Bouchard (IEEE CT Soc), Kerry Oslund (E.W. Scripps) and Dr. Paul Hearty (Samsung). Our board is comprised of highly regarded and respected members of ATSC and the broadcasting community at large. We are fortunate to have them serve this very important role.
Great news coming out of Jamaica. In May 2020, the government of Jamaica announced the approval to commence a digital switchover (DSO) with the ATSC 3.0 standard. Jamaica is the first country to transition directly from analogue television broadcasting to digital television broadcasting. Recently, several broadcasters have commenced testing DSO with ATSC member Television Jamaica (TVJ, a member of RJRGLEANER Communications Group) leading the ATSC 3.0 switchover in Jamaica.
Trinidad & Tobago is preparing to launch ATSC 3.0 broadcasts in 2025. A recent update provided to ATSC indicated that Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago remains on schedule to switch on ATSC 3.0 digital broadcasts in August 2025. They have also developed a transition implementation plan with their broadcasters, and under the guidance of Heartland Video Solutions Inc, describing the approach and process of transition from analogue to digital television broadcasting to ensure that they fully leverage the features of ATSC 3.0. They also plan an extensive public awareness campaign in the first quarter of 2024.
ATSC has been working hard for many years to support its submission of the ATSC 3.0 platform for the SBTVD Forum’s “TV 3.0” (Fórum Do Sistema Brasileiro De TV Digital Terrestre) project. Brazil SBTVD Forum recently announced that ATSC 3.0 is one of two finalists to make it to the final phase, field testing. It is anticipated that the announcement for the physical layer technology will happen in early 2024. Many ATSC 3.0 technologies have already been selected by Brazil including ROUTE/DASH, MPEG-H Audio, IMSC1 Captions, and Advanced Emergency Messaging. Last month an ATSC delegation visited São Paulo, Brasilia, and Rio de Janeiro to meet with key constituents, regulators, and broadcasters to ensure a full understanding of the capabilities of ATSC 3.0, offer information about deployments in other countries, and make ourselves available for any questions they may have about ATSC 3.0.
It’s almost that time of year – nope, not Christmas – CES 2024
ATSC returns to the annual CES in Las Vegas showcasing ATSC 3.0 innovations in Central Hall (Booth #19744), which is just behind the Samsung exhibit. Our partners and sponsors will be showcasing what’s ahead for NEXTGEN TV in 2024, including demonstrations of High Dynamic Range, Immersive Audio, new set-top upgrade receivers, and IP-delivered content from broadcasters as well as future applications for ATSC 3.0 in the car, in a smart home, and in markets beyond the US.S.
Consumers in the U.S. have brought home nearly 10,000,000 NEXTGEN TV receivers since the launch of ATSC 3.0, and the service now reaches 70% of TV viewers throughout the country.
The Year Ahead
2024 promises the continued expansion of ATSC 3.0 broadcasts in the U.S. and around the world, and opportunities for our members to reconnect, learn, and grow.
I want to thank the ATSC members and sponsors who allow ATSC to thrive and help move the broadcast community forward; without their support, none of this would be possible!
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.