Anne Schelle is MD of the Pearl TV partnership, a grouping of more than 200 TV broadcasters, many of them affiliated to the major networks in the US, is focused on exploring “innovative ways of developing digital media” for the industry.
She believes that the US’s current ATSC 1.0 digital TV system, almost 20 years old although in many respects based on even older technologies, is on the threshold of being replaced by ATSC 3.0. Importantly, she stresses that ATSC 3.0 will be backward compatible insofar as new sets will be able to receive both ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 transmissions.
Writing in Display Daily she argues that ATSC 3.0 is the ‘next generation’ broadcast platform, and wholly on IP-based technology, is going to create tangible innovation and real value to consumers. “Our viewers today want an even better video experience, but they also expect TV to follow them everywhere they go at any time. Consumers will want Ultra HD programming with High Dynamic Range capability and also the ability to watch shows deep inside apartment buildings and on mobile devices on city streets and public transportation. Viewers will expect high-quality video that doesn’t freeze up when Internet usage peaks, and an experience that doesn’t strain a data plan,” she says.
“It’s wrong to look ahead to the future of television through the same lens used to gaze back at the analogue-to-digital transition. Certainly, TV broadcasters realise there won’t be a second 6MHz channel available. Moreover, we don’t think an elaborate government program that subsidises receivers will be necessary. In fact, we envision a cooperative effort to enhance over-the-air broadcasting that will allow ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 to coexist. New 3.0 devices will provide both 1.0 and 3.0 reception.”
ATSC 3.0 is currently undergoing further testing. On September 28th last year the ATSC committee approved its physical layer ‘Candidate Standard’ specification and prototype testing will wrap by April 4th “at which time it can be considered for adoption as a full standard” said Pearl TV.