President’s Memo: New Year Ahead

Happy New Year! With this month’s installment of THE STANDARD, we welcome 2020 and celebrate the Year of the Rat. The Rat is the first animal in the cycle of 12 and is thus seen as representing the beginning of a new day.

Indeed, it appears to be a new day for next-generation broadcasting.

January 2020 saw the official U.S. commercial launch of NEXTGEN TV powered by ATSC 3.0 at CES. ATSC had its first booth presence at CES as we heard the exciting news of a combined 20 NEXTGEN TV models being introduced by Sony, Samsung and LG. Broadcasters anticipate lighting up commercial services in the top 40 U.S. markets in 2020, and ATSC has already committed to exhibiting at CES 2021 in order to share all the news from developments that unfold this year.

January 2020 also drew ATSC members to the Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Toronto, Ontario, Canada where we participated in an ATSC 3.0 Innovation Seminar and also held ATSC technical group and board of directors meetings. A world-renowned polytechnic institute, Humber College is Canada’s largest college with more than 30,000 full time students. Our hosts extended us a very warm welcome, and it was a treat to spend four days in the college setting, surrounded by young people and exciting cutting-edge technology. The atmosphere was full of new ideas and bright futures, and we hope to be back someday. Thank you, Humber!

Congratulations to the leadership of the ATSC Board of Directors, elected at the January board meeting for the next year.  NAB’s Lynn Claudy returns as ATSC Chairman, and we’re welcoming Richard Friedel of Fox Television Stations and Brian Markwalter of the Consumer Technology Association as ATSC Vice-Chairs.

As ATSC focuses on supporting the U.S. ATSC 3.0 rollout, members are also looking into the crystal ball of many New Years to come.  Planning Team 4 on Future Broadcast Ecosystem Technologies (PT4) will assess the potential advantages and range of improvements that new technologies might provide to the future Broadcast Ecosystem. ATSC 3.0 was designed from the ground up to be extensible and evolvable. This new report explores how these extensibility tools might be applied, and also considers market forces that might inspire or hinder adoption of new technologies. Although the report focuses on video, the extensibility mechanisms can be applied to a broad range of inventions that may become important as innovation marches on.

Our attention is turning next to April’s NAB Show, where ATSC’s North Hall booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center is sure to be brimming with members and conventioneers interested in how the deployment of ATSC 3.0 is going across the U.S.

And so we offer a warm welcome to 2020 – it’s a new year with new opportunities for broadcasters and consumer alike.