PRESIDENT’S MEMO: Picking Up Steam

I was honored to address the Society of Broadcast Engineers annual awards dinner last month to discuss the “The Road Ahead” on our journey to Next Gen TV.  Now, just a few weeks later, the cup overflows with ATSC 3.0 news. 

It’s not just large broadcasters who are working to launch ATSC 3.0 signals.  Family-owned News-Press & Gazette Company is investing to bring ATSC 3.0 broadcast TV to the nation’s 124th market in Santa Barbara, California. 

Then, at the NAB New York show, networks and broadcasters announced a collaborative effort and support for the widespread introduction of ATSC 3.0. Top executives from Fox Television Stations, NBC Owned Stations Group, Nexstar Media Group, Pearl TV, Spectrum Co., TEGNA Inc., Telemundo Owned Stations Group, and Univision made a joint appearance to underscore their support for Next Gen TV.

What’s more, partners involved in the Phoenix Model Market just released results of Magid consumer research,  jointly conducted with CTA, that spoke to consumers and found “solid overall interest in and high likelihood to use” ATSC 3.0 Next Gen TV. 

New Recommended Practice

While the rollout of Next Gen TV powered by ATSC 3.0 picks up steam, our ongoing standards work continues to support broadcasters’ needs. The ATSC 3.0 suite of standards is modular, not monolithic.  As needed, standards and recommended practices are revised, based on industry experience and requirements.

For instance, ATSC members just approved a new Recommended Practice that provides Guidelines for the Physical Layer Protocol standard. This new document (A/327) describes how best to use the “toolbox of technology” that allows for flexible operating modes in a variety of harsh channel reception conditions – such as deep-indoor or concrete-canyon mobile reception – while maintaining efficient use of spectrum. 

 

This new Recommended Practice outlines parameter and technology choices in the related A/321 and A/322 physical layer standards, so that broadcasters can optimally deliver intended services.  It also contains detailed guidelines for transmitter and receiver design implementations based on engineering studies of the latest technologies in the ATSC 3.0 physical layer.  When transmitting for mobile devices, guidelines are laid out for operating modes and choices for robustness and power consumption. And, it’s based on real-world field experience with ATSC 3.0.

ATSC Board of Directors Election

ATSC members are encouraged to vote on the upcoming ballot to elect members of the board of directors to serve three-year terms that start in January.  Anne Schelle of Pearl TV is running for re-election, while three other current directors are term-limited (Richard Friedel of FOX, Brett Jenkins of Nexstar and Glenn Reitmeier of NBC Universal.)

Six very qualified candidates are vying for the four open seats on the board: Jim DeChant, News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting; Ira Goldstone, FOX; David Rabinowitz, Univision; Anne Schelle, Pearl TV; Dave Siegler, Cox Media Group; and Jim Starzynski, NBC Universal. This important member ballot opens on November 5 and closes at 11:59PM (Eastern time) on December 3.

As we head toward the end of a landmark year for the ATSC, Next Gen TV continues to pick up steam along the Road to ATSC 3.0, making this a great time for interested stakeholders to play a role in defining the future of television.  If you’re not yet an ATSC member, we hope you’ll join us on this exciting journey.

 

Mark Richer, ATSC President