Path to ATSC 3.0 To Be ‘Much Quicker’ Than 1.0…

There will be big “differences” in the transition to ATSC 3.0 compared with the transition from analog to digital ATSC 1.0, Richard Lewis, vice president-technology and research at LG Electronics USA, told the ATSC Broadcast Television Conference Wednesday.

With ATSC 1.0, “we were bringing in another way to deliver basically television pictures,” Lewis said. With 3.0, the TV “becomes part of the network infrastructure within the home,” making for a “much wider” and richer “delivery pipeline” than was true in the transition to 1.0, he said. That “network architec- ture element” will allow TV makers to do “unlimited things with it,” he said.

When the ATSC 1.0 standard was adopted, “physical” demodulator chips didn’t yet exist, said Lew- is, holding aloft an acrylic-encased sample of the chip that LG showcased at the NAB Show. “After several years” of ATSC 1.0, “we were down to a physical demod chip that was a single one, and so we are sitting today, it’s a candidate standard, and we already have rst silicon,” he said of ATSC 3.0. “The combination of having silicon ready, and having the Korean broadcast industry moving forward for the Olympics” on an ATSC 3.0 launch for 2017, “it’s a much different dynamic,” he said. The LG chip is “proof” that ATSC 3.0 “is real, it will be much quicker,” he said.

Lewis thinks it’s clear the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea will drive ATSC 3.0 receiver adop- tion, he said. “The U.S. will follow that, so I think we are on a much more rapid deployment” timetable for ATSC 3.0 than 1.0, he said. On the LG demodulator chip for ATSC 3.0, “ATSC 1.0 comes along,” he said. “So it’s not a case of I have to decide which do I want to include.” When TV makers start to design around the chip, “they’ll be able to pick up 1.0 and 3.0,” he said. “That’s the great thing about electronics and sili- con, is that it all comes along for free.”

A “real advantage” of ATSC 3.0, but one that’s regularly overlooked, is its ability to enable delivery of over-the-top services, Lewis said. Smart TV apps for services like Amazon and Net ix are ubiquitous, but “they’re all over the map,” he said. “They all have their own video media player, they have their own implementations, and to a certain extent, they recreate the wheel on a regular basis, each one of them.”

New OTT players that enter the market using ATSC 3.0 “can take advantage of the standard,” and “it’s a big bene t,” he said. The ATSC 3.0 framers built “layers” into the standard for new OTT players “to exploit,” he said. “Delivering over-the-top services in a more ef cient, more friendly manner will get mil- lennials and the next generation access to their content more effectively than we’ve done in the current, sort of, smart TV.” — Paul Gluckman

Reprinted from CEDaily with permission from Warren Communications