Posted on December 13, 2021 in ATSC News
Fred Engel is Chief Technology Officer of PBS North Carolina (formerly UNC-TV). He was just elected to his first term on the ATSC Board of Directors. Engel’s interest in ATSC 3.0 started when the call for proposals was made in 2013. He says he was excited to see the focus on an IP based system that utilized a much more robust modulation standard that would address reception issues and, with the improved encoding technology, include the potential to do enhanced datacasting efforts that could serve the public. As a member of the ATSC Board of Directors, Engel says his focus will be in multiple areas.
“As a Public Broadcaster I’m interested in making sure we are at the table in market transition discussions. And I look forward to continued development of datacasting efforts that serve the public and interactive program development that will enhance the viewer experience,” Engel said. Engel has been participating in ATSC Implementation Team for Advanced Emergency Information and he’s heavily involved in AWARN, NVISA and other groups to improve the experience for alerting viewers during times of emergencies. In addition, Engel and his colleagues are participating in the ATSC Tower Network Implementation Team and are looking forward to innovative ways to develop Single Frequency Networks more efficiently to better serve viewers.
“One area we are rapidly developing is remote learning efforts that will connect teachers to students using software systems customized for delivery over ATSC 3.0. We will be testing this at our WUNK-TV, Greenville NC ATSC 3.0 transmission facility soon.”
“The native IP nature of ATSC 3.0 makes it much more attractive for the development of applications to improve the viewer experience, and also opens the door for datacasting applications. The potential for interface to 5G communication systems is real; we just need partners to explore this. We have only started this journey.”
“We won the NAB Pilot Innovation Challenge competition in 2017 for our efforts with ATSC 3.0 and digital paging for first responders,” Engel says. “This effort was funded by a US Department of Homeland Security Small Innovation Research Grant awarded to a North Carolina Engineering firm to bring this effort to fruition.”
Engel was born and raised in a very small town in rural Michigan. He and his wife have five grown children and four grandchildren, who are all over the US and overseas. Away from work Engel likes to build things at his home (although he says he would probably be better off hiring someone to do the work). Engel enjoys golf and says he still has not figured out that game. Engel and his wife love to travel to see their kids and grandkids. Engel received a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Electronics Technology at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan.
Posted in ATSC News
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