Next-generation TV standards got a shot in the arm at NAB New York today as a coalition of broadcasters representing hundreds of television stations owned by Fox, NBC, Univision, and members of the Pearl TV and SpectrumCo consortiums announced a collaborative effort to support ATSC 3.0 deployment.
The ATSC launch is expected to take place in 2020, as consumer electronics manufacturers introduce ATSC 3.0-capable products.
The announcement was made by executives from Fox Television Stations, NBC and Telemundo Owned Stations Group, Univision, Tegna (on behalf of Pearl TV) and Nexstar Media Group (on behalf of SpectrumCo). However, their ATSC 3.0 effort is not exclusive; the companies said other commercial and public TV broadcasters would be included in the initiative.
”We’re all working together, we’ve got a game plan we’re going to stick to, and we’re putting resources behind it,” said Jack Abernethy, CEO at Fox Television Stations, during NAB New York. He characterized the announcement as a breakthrough in the “chicken and egg” department, as a commitment by broadcasters makes it easier for TV makers to move ahead with plans to integrate the standard in forthcoming consumer hardware.
”We see this major development jump-starting the nationwide rollout of next-gen TV,” said Dr. Jong Kim, SVP in the office of the CTO at ATSC 3.0 co-developer LG Electronics, in a prepared statement. “LG looks forward to working with these and other broadcasters and stakeholders in the next-gen TV ecosystem to help bring the benefits of ATSC 3.0 to American consumers.” Samsung and Sony also released statements of support.
TV makers are hoping, of course, that a successful ATSC 3.0 roll-out will spur another wave of TV upgrades, especially now that UHDTVs with HDR capabilities have become commonplace.
The announcement comes almost a year after the launch of the Phoenix Model Market pilot project, in which 12 broadcasters came together to provide a test bed for ATSC 3.0 implementations. In a consumer survey commissioned by the Phoenix Model Market partners and the Consumer Technology Association, younger consumers and early adopters expressed the greatest interest in next-generation TV concepts. 42% of respondents who were interested in ATSC 3.0 said they expected to buy a new TV to enable the services; 96% of those who rated the concept Very Appealing and said they were Very Likely to use ATSC 3.0 services also said they were likely to buy a new TV set.