ATSC Highlights at NAB 2015
More than 50 ATSC members exhibited at the 2015 NAB Show, which brought together more than 100,000 people interested in broadcasting’s future.
ATSC 3.0 took center stage at the annual Broadcast Engineering Conference, on the day before the exhibit floor opened.
Over the course of three hours, those working to create the standard offered a comprehensive update on the current state of the standard.
NAB’s Skip Pizzi explained that the move to ATSC 3.0 is being done for a number of reasons: flexible use of spectrum, robustness, mobility, Ultra HD, a hybrid service, new options for multiview and multiscreen, to enable 3D transmissions and immersive audio – but that engineers also realize the need for the elusive “spousal approval factor” to deliver a better experience, not just a bigger experience.
As Chair of TG3 and leading the ATSC 3.0 effort, Triveni Digital’s Rich Chernock explained that technology doesn’t stand still. “Instead of ignoring that, we’ve learned that maybe we should pay attention and make sure that everything we do is extensible.” Chernock said that the finished standard will incorporate “a number of documents” with “standards for each of the layers.” By breaking things into parts, Chernock says it will be easier to revise the future standard rather than re-opening everything.
Sony’s Luke Fay explained that future ATSC 3.0 receivers need to be able to “lock on” the incoming signal, which has resulted in the definition of a “bootstrap” that the receiver can immediately tune and display. Fay also explained how channel bonding might allow VHF broadcasters to share channels with UHF broadcasters in the same market, to enable more mobile channels for viewers.
Madeleine Noland of LG Electronics discussed the two major proponents for immersive audio for ATSC 3.0 (Dolby and an alliance of Fraunhofer/Technicolor/Qualcomm) that are participating in audio tests throughout the summer. Noland also reported on how uses cases will be used to enable interactive advertising and enhanced accessibility for future viewers of ATSC 3.0.
A range of products and services utilizing ATSC Digital TV standards and emerging technologies were featured in the ATSC Technology Pavilion, located in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall.
Triveni Digital demonstrated how targeted advertising might be deployed by using both the capabilities of ATSC 3.0 broadcasting and a Smart TV platform that can automatically insert different advertisements targeted to different types of viewers.
The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI; Korea) and the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU; Spain), partnered to show Layered Division Multiplexing (LDM) technology. LDM uses spectrum overlay techniques and signal cancellation to transmit two independent signals using a single 6 MHz TV channel.
Unisoft showed a complete end-to-end system for creation and transmission of interactive services. HTML5 applications are delivered from the TV station over the air to the home to provide broadcasters with a variety of ways for generation of additional revenues.
NERC (National Engineering Center for DTV; Shanghai, China) showed off a Full-chain Ultra HD TV system, which included a UHD TV presentation system, as well as UHD TV encoding, broadcasting, receiving and decoding. Demonstrations included UHD TV Encoding using a real-time H.265 Encoder-Zen HEVC with nearly twice the compression performance of H.264.
GatesAir, in cooperation with partners LG Electronics and Zenith, demonstrated a complete “FUTURECAST” system for ATSC 3.0. It now includes the Physical Layer, the Applications/Presentation Layer and the Management/Protocol Layer. In addition to robust transmission, the FUTURECAST demonstration also showed how advanced emergency alerting with ATSC 3.0 could bring live video, maps, banners, and even “wake up” capability to future devices in an emergency.
ONE Media and COMARK teamed up to demonstrate their complete “end-to-end” ATSC 3.0 system based on the ONE Media proposal. The Ultra HDTV system demonstration included a working demo of the ONE Media/NERC “Service Discovery and Signaling” (Bootstrap) technology, the first part of the ATSC Physical Layer now being balloted for Candidate Standard status.