Posted on February 1, 2016 in ATSC News
Last month, ATSC’s Board of Directors elected industry veteran Richard Friedel of FOX Networks as ATSC Board Chairman for 2016. He’s Executive Vice President and General Manager for FOX Networks Engineering & Operations. He oversees long-term technology strategy and day-to-day operations for the Fox Network Center in Los Angeles and the Fox Houston Technical Operations Center, home of Fox Sports’ regional networks, and provides technical support for 14 regional production centers. Before joining FOX, Friedel served in various positions at Capital Cities/ABC, NBC News and local television stations.
THE STANDARD posed a series of questions to the incoming Chairman.
What are your goals for ATSC?
Our primary goal is to complete the 3.0 standard on time with an eye on ensuring our members can have a successful launch of service. Of course, ATSC 3.0 is really a suite of documents which have various completion dates. So the goal is to get the necessary documents through Candidate Standard so that the broadcast and consumer electronics industries can move ahead with planning and producing the equipment and services necessary to implement 3.0.
The NAB Show is now just 11 weeks away. How much ATSC 3.0 technology do you expect to see in Las Vegas in April?
I expect to see a lot of innovative ATSC 3.0-related equipment and systems demonstrated at NAB. You may have heard that the ATSC, CTA and NAB will be hosting several demonstration areas at the show, and I expect a number of manufacturers of broadcast equipment and systems to be exhibiting in their booths as well. Our consumer electronics members will likely supply sets receiving over-the-air signals much the same as what was demonstrated by LG, Zenith, GatesAir, ONE Media, Teamcast, Sinclair, Pearl TV and Samsung at CES last month. THE NAB Futures area will demonstrate a number of the advanced features of 3.0 and the entry way of the upper level of South Hall will be a focal point for ATSC showing typical uses of 3.0 features in a home-like environment. So this year’s NAB show will be a great place to see ATSC 3.0 in action.
Why should a TV broadcaster consider adopting ATSC 3.0 — what are the main benefits, from your perspective?
In my view, ATSC 3.0 is the way for broadcasters to compete in a broadband world. The IP-based 3.0 standard provides broadcasters a 25-megabit-per-seconf broadband pipe into a viewer’s home. Think of all the applications you could offer on top of our traditional television signals. Only our imagination limits what we might do. Add to that an option to offer very robust signals for mobile applications and support for SFNs (Single Frequency Networks) and we have a highly competitive offering.
How do you expect the transition to ATSC 3.0 to be different from 2009’s analog-to-digital TV transition?
Actually, I believe it will be very different. In the United States, ATSC 3.0 is an industry-driven transition, and we don’t see a government mandate or converter box program this time. It’s important to note that new products such as plug-in receivers likely will be available. The plug-in receivers would have a RF input and an HDMI output. They would probably be capable of both ATSC 3.0 and 1.0 reception. In addition, broadcast “gateway” products may be available. These products would receive 3.0 services and make them available over the home Wi-Fi network to smart TVs, tablets and smartphones.
Considering the implications of the repack after the incentive auction, it’s likely to be a market by market transition determined by the broadcasters in their local markets. Several different broadcast organizations are diligently working on a number of transition plans. I’m watching to see what innovative approaches emerge. In South Korea, the government has assigned each broadcaster a 6MHz channel to implement 4K UHD TV service. We are working with our colleagues in South Korea to be sure ATSC 3.0 meets their requirements.
There are a lot of new ATSC members. Do you see new enthusiasm for ATSC 3.0 in the technology groups and specialist groups that you’ve worked with?
The enthusiasm and talent of all of our participants is inspiring. Not just in the U.S.; organizations from Canada, South Korea, China, Japan and Europe are actively involved in the development of ATSC 3.0. Each group working on 3.0 is focused on optimization and documentation of their technology selection, as well as the overall schedule goals.
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.
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