CHAT ROOM: Momentum for ATSC 3.0 Personalization and Interactivity

In the Chat Room this month, THE STANDARD sat down with Dave Siegler, Chair of the ATSC 3.0 Personalization and Interactivity Implementation Team, the group that’s promoting, testing and developing the many interactive capabilities of ATSC 3.0. Long-time ATSC Board member and Vice President of Technical Operations for Cox Media Group, Siegler opines on the important role of ATSC Implementation Teams, especially now as Next Gen TV powered by ATSC 3.0 moves closer to commercialization.

THE STANDARD: Please tell us about the role of ATSC implementation Teams.

SIEGLER: The role of the teams is to bridge between the standards-setting work of the ATSC and the industry marketplace – to create new value for television viewers, consumer electronics vendors, broadcasters and allied industries.  We see our role as a forum for industry discussions of issues and opportunities to bring these functions from the conceptual stage, to the lab, to the various screens consumer use. These teams have taken on some important functional parts of ATSC 3.0 that will bring value to the consumer experience, like the critical bridging of broadcast and broadband, and advanced emergency alerting in times of disaster.

THE STANDARD: “Personalization” and “interactivity” sound like pretty lofty and complex issues. What do these concepts really mean for broadcasters and consumers?

SIEGLER: These key functions are indeed complex but that’s part of the mission of the I-Team – to focus the smart people from different worlds (broadcasters and software developers) and figure it out. I strongly feel there are many opportunities that lie ahead with potential new revenue streams such as voting and polling, e-commerce, advanced advertising that will target products and brands when you want them, more immersive sports and interactive programming. Having the receiver enabled to communicate back out of the home opens up so many opportunities we simply can’t exploit today in our one-way broadcast technology.

THE STANDARD: Dave, what’s on the horizon, both for the I-Team’s near-term work and for the longer-term vision of broadcasters implementing personalization and interactivity?

SIEGLER: In the short-term, as the standards are being completed, the Personalization and Interactivity Team is developing a Content Implementation Guide that will assist in the functional and software development of the concepts I mentioned earlier. I anticipate that we’ll also be jumping in, with many others, to test and perfect the interactive experience. I see this work ongoing up to and including the consumer rollout. Of course in this world of “constantly updating apps,” ATSC 3.0 won’t stand still either as new business opportunities will surface. One key part of this new standard is extensibility, that’s so very important that we are able evolve in the future.

Another good example of the I-Teams’ progress is the Advanced Emergency Alerting Implementation Team. They’re developing an “Advanced Emergency Implementation Guidebook,” an industry roadmap for broadcasters and receiver manufacturers. This will show how to operate and manage these new functions within a station, mapping out new receiver profiles and how consumers may be able to receive and interact with the alerts.

ATSC Implementation Teams also have a critical role identifying any various gaps or uncertainties discovered in a new standard and then feeding them back to the standards groups for clarity. New I-Teams in the near term will have similar missions – to successfully bring ATSC 3.0 to the new world of marrying Broadcast and Broadband.