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Suggesting that a move to upgraded technology would foster innovation in the broadcast TV marketplace, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comment on a proposal that would allow television broadcasters in the US to use the ATSC 3.0 ‘Next Generation’ broadcast television transmission standard on a voluntary, market-driven basis.
According to the FCC, ATSC 3.0 has the potential to greatly improve broadcast signal reception on mobile devices and television receivers without outdoor antennas. It is also intended to enable broadcasters to offer enhanced and innovative new features to consumers, including Ultra High Definition picture and immersive audio, more localised programming content, an advanced emergency alert system capable of waking up sleeping devices to warn consumers of imminent emergencies, improved accessibility options, and interactive services.
A coalition of broadcast and consumer electronics industry representatives petitioned the Commission to allow the use of the new standard. The upgraded technology is intended to merge the capabilities of over-the-air broadcasting with the broadband viewing and information delivery methods of the Internet using the same 6 MHz channels presently allocated for digital television (DTV).
The FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposes and seeks comment on rules that will allow broadcasters the flexibility to deploy ATSC 3.0-based transmissions while minimising the impact on – and costs to – consumers and industry stakeholders. Among other things, the NPRM:
Taken together, the proposal starts the rulemaking process to facilitate private sector innovation and promote American leadership in the global broadcast industry, says the FCC.