ATSC TG1 Chairman

The world of television is changing. Viewers are consuming content on a variety of devices — whenever and wherever and however they want it. Consumer demand for video has resulted in an increasing number of paths to deliver content to viewers.

A growing number of larger-screen TVs on the market today include some level of connectivity, enabling apps such as Facebook or Netflix, and allowing consumers to view what is known as hybrid TV — a mix of broadcast television and Internet content. Through a connected TV, consumers can view content “over the top” and access feature-rich TV applications.

When consumers purely view video over the top (which is typically content independent of the broadcaster), broadcasters lose control. With hybrid TV, broadcasters regain control by initiating interaction on the TV. The interaction may be with content located in the broadcast stream, content from the Internet, pushed content, or any combination of these. This approach allows broadcasters to deliver richer content and, thus, be a part of the value chain. That’s why ATSC 2.0 is so important to broadcasters and viewers alike.


As the number of connected TVs continues to grow, and linear television evolves into a hybrid TV model, one challenge facing broadcasters is how to take the best advantage of these new capabilities. A solution is to harness an emerging, powerful new broadcast standard called ATSC 2.0. This standard, which is currently being finalized by ATSC members, provides broadcasters with a sophisticated toolbox for delivering media and interactive hybrid television content to connected TVs.

The ATSC 2.0 standard will enable this interactivity by creating connections between live TV and Internet content, as well as live TV and non real-time content, through triggers and objects in the broadcast stream. Broadcasters can insert interactive elements into the broadcast stream. Triggers cause the content to be activated, whether delivered in the broadcast stream, or obtained from the Internet.

For example, a station can push additional information about a program, such as supporting video clips or pointers to Web pages. Viewers who are interested in the content can access the additional information, and those not interested can simply continue watching. By accessing objects on their connected TVs, viewers no longer need navigate independently to find information relevant to the broadcast — it’s already at their fingertips.


Using ATSC 2.0, broadcasters will be able to offer viewers with compatible connected TVs an enhanced user experience. More importantly, broadcasters retain the power in driving the interactivity and initiating interactions across the Internet.

Through the two-way connection of the Internet, broadcasters can create a closer relationship with viewers, strengthen their brand identity, and deploy new revenue-generating types of services like targeted advertising and non real time content, both of which can be personalized to the specific preferences, demographics, and interests of an individual viewer.

Leveraging the power of ATSC 2.0, broadcasters can successfully be a piece of the connected TV puzzle.


Dr. Chernock’s day job is Chief Science Officer for Triveni Digital.