Three Questions for New TG3 Chair

Chernock Succeeds Retiring Jim Kutzner – 

Dr. Richard Chernock has been named the Chairman of TG3 — the Technology Group working on the ATSC 3.0 next-generation broadcast standard. He succeeds James Kutzner of PBS, who has announced his retirement effective Feb. 1.

Chernock is active in many of the ATSC, SMPTE and SCTE committees, particularly in the areas of mobile digital TV, monitoring, metadata, and data broadcast. He was the chairman of the ATSC Technology Standards Group (TG1), leading the ATSC 2.0 standards work, from 2011-2013, and he chairs the Non-Real-Time Services activities within ATSC. He is also the Distinguished Lecturer Chair for IEEE Broadcast Technology Society.

“Rich Chernock’s technical expertise and extensive experience in ATSC activities make him the ideal choice to help direct the future of digital television,” said Mark Richer, ATSC president. “At the same time, we thank Jim Kutzner for his TG3 leadership during the crucial launch phase and for his many contributions to the ATSC over the years. We wish him all the best on his future endeavors.”

“As ATSC 3.0 developments accelerate, Rich will be taking the reins of the TG3 at an exciting time,” said ATSC Board Chairman Glenn Reitmeier of NBC Universal. “As the ATSC develops the next generation of Digital TV standards, we are fortunate to have a chair with Rich’s patience, thoughtfulness, vast experience and strong leadership skills.”

At Triveni Digital, Dr. Chernock is Chief Science Officer, developing strategic directions for monitoring, content distribution and metadata management for emerging digital television systems and infrastructures. Previously, he was a Research Staff Member at IBM Research, investigating digital broadcast and semiconductor technologies.  His Doctor of Science degree is from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the field of nuclear materials engineering.

THE STANDARD posed three questions to the new TG-3 Chairman about the evolving ATSC 3.0 process:

Question:  There’s a lot of interest in ATSC 3.0, particularly from new players who are interested in the possibilities of transmitting rich media content through TV broadcasters.  If you look ahead a few years, how do you think TV broadcasting will change?

Dr. Chernock:  “My crystal ball isn’t all that clear these days, but I believe that TV broadcasting must change. Partly because of the explosion of Internet-delivered entertainment services, viewers are expecting more personalized services available whenever and wherever they want. Ignoring this trend is not a formula for success.  Continuing only today’s linear, scheduled broadcast to passive viewers is not the only way to go forward. I think that many broadcasters understand this change in expectations and want to deliver services that accommodate the viewer wants. A large part of the use cases and requirements for ATSC 3.0 are targeted at enabling these new types of services – providing a toolkit that broadcasters can use to build these new services.”

Question:  There seems to be a desire to keep the standard moving through the process at a fast clip.  What’s the biggest challenge you see ahead for ATSC 3.0? 

Dr. Chernock:  “I think the biggest challenge is the short timeline available. The work on ATSC 3.0 covers a large amount of ground, with many different technologies involved that need to be completed in a relatively short amount of time. The importance of getting ATSC 3.0 done in this time period is understood by the participants. Luckily, there is existing, proven technology to draw from in many areas which might need some extension, rather than complete invention.”

Question:   Do you think all parts of the TV ecosystem will embrace the changes made possible by ATSC 3.0?  If so, how?

Dr. Chernock:  “The work on ATSC 3.0 is really on developing an end-to-end system, which includes aspects of content, broadcasting and reception/rendering. New content will be created that takes advantage of the new features of ATSC 3.0, including Ultra HDTV, interactivity and enhanced media. The broadcast workflow and transmission systems will evolve to manage and delivery these new services. Consumer electronics companies will have the opportunity to bring new classes of receivers to market. Most importantly, there are ways that all of the participants can enhance existing business models or create new ones. So, my answer is that I think all the parts of the ecosystem will benefit from ATSC 3.0 and embrace the changes.”