1. Consumer Appeal Strong for Next Gen TV Features
The new ATSC 3.0 service delivering live, over-the-air TV could increase broadcast TV viewing and drive sales of new television receivers, according to new research from the Phoenix deployment of Next-Gen TV.
This research was the result of consumer lab testing by research consultancy Magid recently conducted in conjunction with the Phoenix Model Market project partners and the Pearl TV broadcast business group. In lab testing, viewers said that the ATSC 3.0 capabilities could make them start watching broadcast programming (even if they don’t currently do so). Some broadcast viewers also said an ATSC 3.0-enabled device could make them want to watch broadcast TV even more than they currently watch.
“Consumers find most value in the combination of features. The combination of Enhanced Video – 4K video with High Dynamic Range – and Immersive 3D Audio have the broadest appeal,” noted Pearl TV Managing Director Anne Schelle.
Key insights from the consumer lab testing highlight the importance of enhanced audio and customization of the viewing experience.
91% of consumers say they are either “very interested” or “interested” in using a service like Next-Gen ATSC 3.0.
· As seen in previous testing, the concept of ATSC 3.0 is appealing to a wide range of consumers.
· Of all the consumer categories that were in the study – such as those who are already intensive broadcast TV watchers, sports enthusiasts, and Spanish-dominant viewers – most saw at least a couple of features that would enhance their live TV viewing experience.
Enhanced Audio features have the broadest appeal.
· In a laboratory environment, consumers could easily see and hear how ATSC 3.0 could give them access to live content that has Immersive 3D Audio, allow them to boost specific portions of audio using a Dialogue Enhancement feature, and allow them to customize audio tracks.
· These kinds of Enhanced Audio features are appealing to consumers because they are practical, and they make the live TV viewing experience more interactive and immersive.
80% of consumers say they are either “interested” or “very interested” in purchasing an ATSC 3.0 television or add-on device.
Four key themes emerge as unique benefits of ATSC 3.0:
1. Over-the-Air Signal Access – Gives easy access to live content that consumers find valuable.
2. Customization – Allows viewers to personalize their live TV experience, which helps them find what they want easier, interact with the content they love in new ways, and even discover new content in the process.
3. Interactivity – Makes live TV more interactive; many “feel better” about watching TV if they are actively engaging with the content or if they feel there is an educational component to it.
4. Inclusivity – Allows viewers to customize content in a way that makes it more enjoyable for family and friends.
“The consumer sentiment that we heard and felt most during the lab testing was excitement about ATSC 3.0 capabilities and a high overall level of interest in engaging with those capabilities and services through their local broadcasters,” said Magid’s Executive VP Bill Hague.
2. Advanced ATSC 3.0 / multi-standard Chips Launched
ONE Media 3.0 has launched what it calls “the world’s most advanced demodulator System-on-a-Chip” (SoC) supporting the ATSC 3.0 Standard.
The universal demodulator chip, based on Saankhya Labs’ patented Software Defined Radio platform, supports 12 DTV standards including ATSC 3.0, DVB-T2, ISDB-T, and satellite and cable standards for TV, set-top boxes, home gateways as well for automotive and mobile applications.
Two variants of the chip were announced:
· Demod-only SL3000 designed for Linear TV applications such as reception in HDTV sets, Set-top Boxes and home gateways, and
· Demod-plus-tuner SL4000 designed for mobile and portable devices.
Sinclair Broadcast Group calls this “the world’s first mobile-ready ATSC 3.0 chip,” targeted to accelerate ATSC 3.0 adoption with Direct-To-Mobile TV capabilities and Broadcast/Broadband convergence solutions.
“These mobile 3.0 chips validate the sea change in over-the-air distribution of not only television but all digital data,” said ONE Media 3.0 President Mark Aitken. “Broadcasters are doing their part by deploying the Next Gen transmission facilities, and now there will be devices enabled to receive that data – personalized and in mobile form. This chip is the key to that disruptive future in a 5G world.”
Parag Naik, CEO of Saankhya Labs Pvt Ltd., called the mobile TV SoC “an essential component of our patented broadcast offload convergence solution. This will help broadcasters and telecom service providers enable their vision to bring unmatched video viewing experience anywhere, anytime, to the consumer.”
The announcement by ONE Media, a subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group, and Saankhya Labs (in collaboration with VeriSilicon and Samsung Foundry) follows Sinclair’s commitments to roll-out of ATSC 3.0 services nationwide and to fund chipsets for wireless operators.
3. ‘PIVOTAL YEAR FOR ATSC 3.0 MARKET READINESS’
A new partnership “to accelerate and expand the development of Next Gen TV experiences in the U.S. and Europe” was announced by Verance Corporation and Fincons Group. It combines Fincons Group’s expertise deploying Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) applications with the Verance Aspect watermark technology.
They say this will enable Next Gen TV experiences to reach 100 percent of ATSC 3.0 and HbbTV connected TVs, regardless of distribution path (over-the-air, cable, satellite and over-the-top services).
“Proving programmers and manufacturers with additional tools and technologies will help them realize the benefits of Next Gen TV as quickly as possible,” said Nil Shah, CEO of Verance. “Together, we combine best in class learnings from HbbTV deployments with the ability to maximize the reach, scale and ROI of Next Gen TV in the U.S., Europe and beyond.”
The companies said initial projects will focus on accelerating Next Gen TV readiness in both markets. Examples include the identification and development of leading consumer offerings, business modeling, proof of concept and market trial management, retailer education, and service lifecycle management and operations.
The convergence of broadcast and broadband “enables novel strategies and new revenue streams within the traditional TV space,” according to Francesco Moretti, Deputy CEO at Fincons. “We look forward to partnering with Verance to apply our HbbTV experience to the ATSC environment in the U.S. and include the Aspect watermark into our portfolio for the European market,” he said.
Eric Anderson, Verance Senior VP and Chief Partnership Officer, said he sees 2019 as “a pivotal year for Next Gen TV market readiness as we look to full market deployment in 2020. For the industry to achieve rapid success, it will be vital for both programmers and TV makers to take an integrated business approach combining proven strategy, tech integration, end-user service offerings and operations.”