SPOTLIGHT: BRAZIL – The Road to ATSC 3.0 Runs Through Rio

Early trials of Next Gen TV in Brazil show the promise of ATSC 3.0 for South America with historic 4K Ultra HD broadcasts of the 2018 World Cup. In Rio de Janeiro, live Next Gen TV broadcasts of World Cup soccer highlighted the superior picture and sound capabilities of ATSC 3.0, including 4K Ultra HD images and immersive Dolby Atmos sound.

The country’s biggest broadcaster, TV Globo, has built a “test bed environment based on the ATSC 3.0 ecosystem to promote new media consumption experiences,” according to Paulo Henrique Castro, the network’s transmission technology director.

The experimental World Cup transmission integrated broadcast and broadband services. For instance, viewers could choose various camera angles. Three additional cameras fed content of the same match over the Internet, synced with the over-the-air transmission.

Using ATSC 3.0 layered-division multiplexing, TV Globo broadcast a core layer of 1080 HD at 6 megabits-per-second  and an enhanced layer of 4k HDR at 22 Mbps. In addition, TV Globo experimented with addressable advertising using three user profiles. 

Following the successful World Cup ATSC 3.0 trials, TV Globo has been continuing field testing, including scalable video coding demonstrations in cooperation with ATEME and ETRI, Castro explained.

Signals are being transmitted over the air from Rio de Janeiro’s main station in Sumaré Hills using the ATSC 3.0 standard on channel 30 (569 MHz) alternating between a 400-watt Rhode & Schwartz exciter and a 100W NEC exciter.

At the SET Broadcast Conference in São Paulo, where McKenzie University also is experimenting with ATSC 3.0, Castro thanked partners providing equipment, technology solutions and support including, DigiCap, ATEME, Panasonic, Sharp, Rohde & Schwarz, Dolby, Yamaha, and others.

“It has been a great experience for us and a technology showcase to introduce Brazil to Next Gen TV and lay the foundation to start working on our standard in the years ahead,” Castro said.