Posted on September 7, 2022 in ATSC News
Richard Friedel, your chairman here, allowing Madeleine, our esteemed President, to take some well-deserved time off. As you likely know, this summer has been extremely busy as Madeleine has been flying the ATSC flag around the world with visits, conferences, and speaking engagements in India, Jamaica, and Brazil. While many of us were on vacation, she has been working hard for all of us. Thank you, Madeleine – the Board and I appreciate all of your efforts!
The ATSC Board (Your Board) has been busy too. We recently held our annual strategic planning meeting in Washington, D.C. at CTA’s headquarters. Thanks to CTA and Brian Markwalter for being such great hosts. Although the analysis of our discussions is still being put into final form by the leadership team, I thought I might share some of my observations and thoughts from the meeting.
I can’t recall whom to credit, but one of the attendees made the statement that our number one priority ought to be the sunsetting of ATSC 1.0. My first reaction was horror! All of us have spent our careers creating or maintaining 1.0. That can’t possibly be a major role for us.
However, upon reflection, it began to make total sense to me. ATSC has spent the past ten years creating the best transmission system in the history of broadcasting. Hundreds of us have spent untold hours to make NextGen TV a success in Korea, the U.S., and now in Jamaica as they begin their digital switch-over. ATSC 3.0 is the future of our business and a key for consumer entertainment and information. We are all working hard to make it even more successful. So, as counterintuitive as it might seem, perhaps our goal should be to push for the sunset of 1.0.
Madeleine and I would love to hear your thoughts about this. You can send your ideas to email@example.com. I look forward to reading them.
Another topic the board focused on was “should ATSC become more of a global organization than it is today.” Thanks to Barbara Lange of Kibo121 for guiding and moderating this discussion. Many people in our industry believe we just focus on the U.S. or North America. If you regularly read The Standard, you are certainly aware that ATSC is far more international than that. In addition to the afore mentioned Korea, the first country to broadcast 3.0, U.S. and Jamaica, Planning Team 6 – Global Recognition of ATSC 3.0, Implementation Team 2 – India & Implementation Team 4 – Brazil are actively working with many of you on India and Brazil. We are starting to hear rumors of other countries wanting to adopt the ATSC 3.0 standard and look forward to what is yet to come.
The Board also discussed how ATSC might manage the growing requests we are getting today to provide information and direction about 3.0 and how to go about implementing a broadcast system based upon it. Do we actively promote and market our technology standard? Should we create a deployment package to get interested parties started? How do we clone Madeleine (yes, this was brought up!) or, more likely, look for new resources to provide the services necessary to become more global? How do we fund these efforts? There is so much to consider for 2023 and beyond.
It was clear we need an international strategy. To help figure this out, the Board convened a small group to develop ATSC’s international strategy and identify the resources, including staffing and funding, needed to effectively support and execute the activities. I should also add that the Board emphatically made the point that the U.S. success of ATSC 3.0 is our number one priority. The U.S. is deploying ATSC 3.0 without the benefit of additional spectrum allocations, and it can pave the way for other countries that may be faced with a similar challenge.
The Board also discussed the evolution of ATSC 3.0. Recommendations from Planning Team 4 – Future Broadcast Ecosystem Technologies about the direction technology is taking and how ATSC might react was a focal point. Thanks to Glenn Reitmeier and the PT-4 team for a compelling presentation. It was agreed that ATSC needs to continually monitor new technology developments and anticipate the future needs of the membership.
The final topic that I’ll mention goes back to where I started, the U.S. roll-out of 3.0. The industry has made amazing progress since our standard was ratified. Over 50 markets, approaching 60% of the U.S. population, now have 3.0 service. But that great success is not enough; we need 100% of the U.S. able to receive 3.0.
To accelerate that process, the Board agreed ATSC needs to create additional information for broadcasters and equipment manufacturers to guide their work and station launches. The Board also noted the need to help the leadership of our industry better appreciate all the capabilities 3.0 can bring.
Although our OTA system is state-of-the-art, its success in the U.S. is not assured. To that end, the Board agreed to form a small group to develop a 2023-2025 activity list to prioritize how ATSC should support of the U.S. rollout of NextGen TV, providing industry leadership in encouraging broadcasters, professional equipment manufacturers, and consumer equipment manufacturers to provide ATSC 3.0 services and products and resolve implementation challenges.
It’s been a pleasure to bring you this month’s President’s Memo and share how ATSC is “Broadcasting the Future.” I hope you’ve had a great summer and I look forward to seeing many of you during a busy Fall meeting and conference schedule. Thank to each and every member and organization for all your hard work and support of ATSC.
ATSC Board Chair
Posted in ATSC News
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