Technologists team for Next-Gen TV Model Market

Broadcasters in Phoenix are working together to make next-generation television a reality in one of the nation’s most important over-the-air TV markets. Preparations are now underway with the first broadcast equipment suppliers who are providing equipment that will soon bring next-generation TV powered by ATSC 3.0 to the Phoenix market.

The Phoenix Model Market project is the first collaborative single-market effort to plan for and implement a transition to next-generation over-the-air television broadcasting. E.W. Scripps Company, Fox Television Stations, Meredith Local Media Group, Nexstar Media Group, TEGNA, Telemundo Station Group, Univision Communications, and Pearl TV are planning the comprehensive effort planned for the Phoenix, Arizona TV market to show how next-generation ATSC 3.0 technology can be deployed while maintaining existing digital TV service for viewers.

“We are delighted to announce the first group of technology suppliers who will help make the Phoenix Model Market a reality,” declared Pearl TV managing director Anne Schelle. “This is just first round of key broadcast equipment vendors who are now at work to create an over-the-air ATSC 3.0 deployment. Phoenix is an open test bed environment and we plan work with additional suppliers and share our findings broadly with the industry.”

Dielectric will supply its UT8D7F-3K filter – a 3 kW low loss, high-efficiency, 8- Pole, UHF bandpass filter for the Phoenix Model Market project. This filter is designed for any critical mask application (ATSC 3.0, ISDB-T critical, DVB-T critical, DVB-T2 critical) and is easily field-tuneable.

“The ATSC 3.0 Model Market project is sure to offer a blueprint that broadcasters can learn from as they start planning their next-generation networks and the many new business opportunities that come with it,” said Keith Pelletier, vice president and general manager, Dielectric. “As one of several key technology suppliers selected to take part in the infrastructure with our field-tuneable, high-efficiency bandpass filter, Dielectric is proud to stand alongside our forward-looking peers that are working together to accelerate television broadcasting into a new and exciting era.”

ENENSYS is supplying its ATSCheduler. This is an ATSC3.0 Broadcast Gateway that encapsulates MMT, ROUTE or any IP streams into an ATSC multiplex, allocating data into the different Sub-Frame and Physical Layer Pipes (PLP), and managing the synchronisation for Single Frequency Network.

“Mandatory at the studio side, this Broadcast Gateway outputs STLTP stream to the ATSC3.0 exciter to ensure the delivery of the complete multiplex and the synchronisation of the network,” explained Richard Lhermitte, ENENSYS Vice President of Marketing. “This supports all ATSC 3.0 configurations, including innovative Layered Division Multiplexing (LDM) technology. IPGuardV2 is ENENSYS’ unique and secure solution that enables 1+1 Automatic IP switching with bypass mechanism for a complete seamless redundant architecture: equipment or network redundancy.”

GatesAir will supply the company’s latest-generation high efficiency Maxiva UAXTE-3 UHF air-cooled TV transmitter to power the first Phoenix ATSC 3.0 broadcasts.

“Designed with future broadcasting needs in mind, the software-defined UAXTE is the most flexible, robust, and power-efficient transmitter on the market today,” claimed said Rich Redmond, GatesAir Chief Product Officer. “Its exciter foundation is the award-winning Maxiva XTE, the first exciter designed and manufactured in the USA that is ready for ATSC 3.0. The XTE platform has powered all the high-profile deployments throughout Next Gen TV’s development. With equal power levels for ATSC 1.0 and 3.0, real-time adaptive correction for optimal signal reliability, native IP connectivity and advanced remote monitoring/control, the UAXTE is ideally suited for this Next Gen television application.”

Harmonic is providing an Electra X ATSC 3.0 media processor that integrates its market-leading encoding solution and statistical multiplexer to deliver multiple high quality HEVC programmes over DASH. Looking ahead to new OTT services that will complement over-the-air (OTA) transmission, the Electra X also connects to Harmonic’s cloud-based VOS 360 SaaS platform to enable hybrid OTA/OTT services. This fully software-based solution has a simple upgrade path to new features, enhancements or standard modifications.

“We are excited to team up with Pearl TV in this ground-breaking next-gen TV endeavour,” remarked Tim Warren, senior vice president and chief technology officer, video business, at Harmonic. “With the compression and statistical multiplexing technology that Harmonic has developed over the last two decades, and our unique OTT and cloud expertise, we are fully prepared for and committed to the exciting opportunities that ATSC 3.0 has to offer.”

Triveni Digital is providing its Broadcast Services Management Platform content distribution system, including GuideBuilder XM signalling, announcement, and transport generator, as well as StreamScope XM advanced monitoring and analysis systems. Using the next-generation BSMP content distribution platform, Pearl TV can deploy innovative features and services enabled by ATSC 3.0 such as emergency alerting, addressable content delivery, interactive program enhancements, and data broadcast applications. The GuideBuilder system is also being utilised in participating stations to simultaneously support ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 environments and maintain the simulcast requirement in a channel-sharing configuration. StreamScope XM products are being used by the engineering teams during the commissioning phase for full system visibility and are being leveraged as a receiver to ensure service quality.

“After our significant multi-year investment in the development of the ATSC 3.0 standard and supporting technology, we are excited to be a part of this important project with our ecosystem partners,” commented Mark Simpson, President and CEO at Triveni Digital. “We believe that critical business concepts will be developed, tested and proven in Phoenix, providing a key roadmap for the deployment phase of Next Gen TV. Triveni Digital’s GuideBuilder and StreamScope product lines are designed to support the complex service environment of the future.”

Phoenix will serve as the first ‘model market’ for deployment of next-generation TV, a sweeping improvement designed greatly to enhance over-the-air services for viewers and provide new options through smart TVs and other Internet-connected devices. The nation’s twelfth-largest TV market, Phoenix has more than 1.8 million households with more than one in five viewers relying on over-the-air reception for TV viewing. The ‘model market’ effort will be coordinated by Pearl TV and broadcast stations owned by Fox Television Stations, Telemundo Station Group, and Univision.

Several TV stations in the Phoenix market will participate in deploying the model market, which will launch soon and involve independent broadcasters as well as those owned by or affiliated with the major networks.

The Phoenix ‘model market’ project will create an open test bed for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders in the TV ecosystem. The project has several objectives, including confirming basic TV service parameters and performance, determining the appeal of next-generation high dynamic range video and immersive audio content to consumers, assessing TV application features and implementation requirements, testing interactive and addressable advertising functionality, and determining consumer device and service appeal. Creating an end-to-end model system will help foster industry consensus and drive ecosystem development. This includes development of the ‘lighthouse’ concept to keep legacy digital TV available for all viewers while new ATSC 3.0 services are being launched.

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