Posted on February 3, 2022 in ATSC News
Brett Jenkins, Executive VP & Chief Technology Officer at Nexstar Media Group, first got involved with ATSC in the 1990s, the early days of ATSC 1.0 digital HDTV deployments. He had just started in the industry and was working on circuit designs for television modulators. Jenkins says he still remembers some of his first ATSC technology group meetings, listening and learning from the smartest people in television.
Now, as an ATSC Board Member, Jenkins says the deployment of ATSC 3.0 is a must if the broadcast industry is to remain strong.
“I hope to be able to contribute a perspective on what I see as challenges in the industry,” Jenkins says. “In regulatory or business environments, for example, ATSC might be able to contribute technology and solutions that can accelerate the standard’s adoption. At the same time, I want to make sure the organization maintains a forward-looking posture with respect to advances in technology. The 3.0 standard was designed to accommodate new technologies, so it’s important that we pay attention to the state of art and not be left behind.”
Jenkins is currently a member of TG3, and he is very interested all the technical activities. At the moment, he pays closer attention to S34, the ATSC specialist group focused on closed captions and data payloads. Now that the standard has been released, Jenkins says he’s proud of the way U.S. broadcasters, and especially his team at Nexstar, have worked together to begin deploying the new standard.
“This is an incredible challenge compared to the initial transition to digital, where regulators provided both additional spectrum, and a consumer product mandate. The current deployment is being done completely on a voluntary, market-driven basis, and is enabled by some of the technical flexibility that is built into the standards.”
Jenkins says it’s critical that the television broadcasting industry recognizes that without significant capability enhancements, it could face the same fate that other media industries experienced.
“ATSC 3.0 is essential to helping our industry to not only survive, but even to thrive and grow. I view the standard as an important enabler that allows broadcasters to pursue new business opportunities by serving new and different constituents in addition to the linear television viewer.”
Jenkins adds that ATSC 3.0 has too many impressive features to name, but he highlights the flexibility found in all the layers, especially at the physical layer, as probably one of the most impressive features.
Jenkins completed his undergraduate studies at UMASS Amherst with a BSEE. He has an MBA from Boston University and began his career at Comark working on high power TV transmitters, starting as an engineer and eventually transitioning into management. Jenkins then made the jump over to the broadcaster side of the industry in 2007 and has been there ever since.
Jenkins is married with four children and resides outside Providence, Rhode Island. Jenkins says he got into the industry is because he wanted to design tube-based audio amplifiers as an engineer.
“I just ended up starting my career by designing much bigger tube-based amplifiers at much higher power for television broadcast. When I have time, I also enjoy outdoor activities, taking advantage of the seasonal changes in New England going from beaches to skiing and everything in between.”
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.