PRESIDENT’S MEMO: Broadcasters Have the Next Move

Now that another NAB Show is in the history books, we at the ATSC were delighted and amazed to see our collective work on the ATSC 3.0 suite of standards virtually omnipresent at the event – from the “NextGenTV Hub” in the convention center’s Grand Lobby, to individual exhibitor booths, dozens of technical and business presentations, and in demonstrations at the ATSC 3.0 Pavilion and PILOT booth in Futures Park.  The Korean pavilion in Futures Park, in particular, provided a glimpse into the launch of this new service that starts at the end of May.  It’s clear that our colleagues in Korea are moving ahead at full steam.

While I was in the Grand Lobby’s NextGenTV Hub (making sure the Ferrari was polished and ready for prime time) we had visitors from all over the world stop by to learn more about the emerging standard.  More than 60 Congressional and FCC staff paid a visit to the ATSC 3.0-Powered Hub, to learn how viewers and broadcasters both will benefit from the new technology.

Now is the time for our broadcast community to step up to the plate.

Certainly there are different approaches to the deployment of ATSC 3.0 among station owner groups. Some plan to move rapidly to try out the new capabilities of the standard. Others may wait until the full impact of the spectrum repack is known before they commit to ATSC 3.0 transmissions. 

ATSC Board Member Jong Kim from LG says we’re at an “inflection point”, and I think he’s right. The standard is nearly complete and the Commission will complete its work to permit broadcasters to use  the new standard by the end of this year. The many enthusiastic discussions about ATSC 3.0 in Las Vegas should soon develop into concrete plans by broadcasters to do what they need to do for implementation of Next GenTV.


While ATSC finishes the standard, broadcasters can now  focus on development of their plans for the next generation of broadcast television.

Certainly, the flexibility of the suite of ATSC 3.0 standards means we’ll always have work to do to enable new capabilities. But the time has come to move from what’s in the standard to what’s going on the air (or over the top.) ATSC 3.0 will deliver broadcasters and viewers better pictures, immersive audio and mobility. The standard will make possible enhanced emergency alerting and hybrid TV, and enable new tools like addressable advertising and audience measurement.

We hope you’ll join us in mid-May at the ATSC Next Gen TV Conference, planned for May 16- 17 at the Reagan International Commerce Center in Washington. If you want to know more about what’s coming with ATSC 3.0, then the Broadcast Conference should be on your agenda for May.  Register here.

Mark Richer, ATSC President