The National Association of Broadcasters – the premier advocacy association for America’s broadcasters – has defended the future adoption and potential of the ATSC 3.0 ‘Next Gen TV’ broadcast transmission standard following comments by FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who criticised the current proposal for voluntary adoption of the standard, suggesting that the Commission should take more time to consider the ramifications.
In a speech to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Rosenworcel admitted that there was a lot to be excited about with the new standard: Ultra High Definition picture quality and immersive audio, advanced emergency alerts, and innovative interactive services. “But I fear the agency is about to rush this standard to market without understanding the consequences for consumers,” she warned.
“This new standard is not backwards-compatible with current television devices. In the near term, with the standard voluntary, the cost of implementing it will be added to consumer cable and satellite bills. In the longer term, it means everyone will need to buy a new television set,” she suggested.
“This is not a great boon for consumers, it’s a tax on every household with a television. So it’s time for the Commission to go back to the drawing board and find a way to smooth the transition to this new standard in a way that better serves the public interest,” she concluded.
“Unfortunately, Commissioner Rosenworcel misunderstands the goals and asks of broadcasters,” responded NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton. “We simply want to compete on equal footing with national wireless and pay-TV providers who routinely upgrade services in the telecom ecosystem.”
“NextGen TV will allow local TV stations – including our public TV brethren – the ability to offer ultra HDTV programming, emergency alerts that save lives, and live TV on mobile devices. This will be a free and local programming innovation that the FCC routinely supports, and that tens of millions of consumers will enjoy,” he asserted.