President’s Memo: Wind in the Sails

March 5 marks the official start of the Next Gen TV rollout process in the United States, when the FCC’s new rules providing the framework for voluntary implementation of ATSC 3.0 take effect.  And, while it’s still early in the implementation process, there’s wind in the sails as seen in the landmark ATSC 3.0 broadcasts of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games both in Korea and in the United States highlighted in this issue of THE STANDARD.

I was honored to represent the ATSC last month in Raleigh, North Carolina, for the first ATSC 3.0 Winter Olympics broadcast in the United States – complete with 4K UHD with HDR, mobile and advanced emergency alerting capabilities, as well as interactive technologies that provided real-time updates of medal counts, athletes’ background and targeted ads. In addition to this latest milestone by WRAL-TV, the Games were broadcast in 4K at the NAB-CTA test station in Cleveland, Ohio.

In South Korea, following many months of preparation by the government, broadcasters and manufacturers, the ATSC 3.0 Olympic broadcasts showed the world the incredible capabilities of our newly released Next Gen TV standard.  From the opening to closing ceremonies and countless memorable competitions in between, Korean broadcasters delivered stunning 4K UHD images of the Games, while also demonstrating exciting new mobile capabilities for the first time.

Another example of the wind in our sails is seen in the tremendous amount of talent and expertise at the ATSC with the announcement that LG’s Madeleine Noland will succeed Triveni Digital’s Rich Chernock as ATSC Technology Group Chair in May.  Leadership by people like Rich and Madeleine and dozens of others are what makes ATSC such a dynamic and impactful organization.

This is a busy month with continuing standards work in parallel with our new mission to support early deployments and implementation plans for Next Gen TV.  The wind in our sails reflects the momentum on the Road to ATSC 3.0, and I congratulate our colleagues both in Korea and in the U.S. for paving the way.

Mark Richer
ATSC President