Advanced Television

Study: Growing US interest in next-gen TV

October 17, 2018

In an update to a 2017 national research study, consumers continue to show exceptionally strong interest in the US Next-Gen Television service (also known as ATSC 3.0) that will offer the programming of free live over-the-air TV (such as local news, live sports, programming from ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and other broadcast networks) and adds improved features that can enhance consumer’s viewing experience.

In the September 2018 survey of more than 1,500 US consumers ages 18-74, research firm Magid registered “solid overall interest in and high likelihood to use” the next-gen ATSC 3.0 concept which has the capability to bring together broadcast TV with broadband content. This nationwide consumer survey research will provide the foundation for Pearl and Magid’s consumer lab testing later in 2018 in Phoenix in conjunction with the Phoenix Model Market project.

Researchers tested a TV concept with consumers – a live, Next-Gen TV broadcast with network programming and improved features that could enhance a viewing experience such as access to video and information not normally found on TV.  Respondents were told that the new service might offer better picture and sound quality, standardized audio levels for content and commercials, audio enhancements for speech that’s difficult to hear, and custom audio tracks for special commentary and languages.  Among other new features suggested were expanded local newscasts, on-demand weather forecasts, and a single convenient portal for streaming TV network video programming.

The research shows the Next-Gen Television concept is most appealing with younger consumers and those who are defined as ‘Early Adopters’ because of their positive attitude toward technology.

“Broadcasters now testing and deploying next-generation television are very interested in what will motivate viewers to watch ATSC 3.0 broadcasts and purchase new receivers,” noted Pearl TV Managing Director Anne Schelle. “It’s no surprise that better picture quality and enhanced audio are key features, but the early adopters also say they will appreciate a key ingredient of next-gen TV – the ability to bring over-the-air together with other content.  Streaming and broadcasting can be complementary services for viewers.”

Pearl is coordinating the Phoenix Model Market project, which includes 10 broadcast stations who are collaborating on a marketwide deployment of the new technology.

“This research shows that consumers are excited about getting the quality experience and interactivity that ATSC 3.0 will bring,” suggested Brian Markwalter, senior vice president, research & standards, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM. “We now demand anytime/anywhere connectivity – and that includes access to video when we’re not at home in front of our favourite TVs. And Next-Gen TV’s robust signals can bring advanced broadcast television innovations not only to the TVs in our homes, but also our smartphones, tablets and other on-the-go devices.”

Survey results reveal that almost 80 per cent of the core group that find the concept most appealing and are also likely to utilize it say they are likely to purchase a new TV set to enable or better enjoy Next-Gen TV features.

“We found that the features of the Next-Gen TV concept that generate the highest levels of consumer interest relate primarily to the TV viewing experience. The top-valued features such as improved video and audio quality are common across subgroups. The integration of streaming capabilities to make it simpler for consumers to get to the TV content they prefer (whether Subscription Video-On-Demand or broadcast networks) was also well received,” said Bill Hague, Executive Vice President at Magid.

Magid’s research shows 42 per cent of those interested in ATSC 3.0 say they anticipate buying a new TV to enable and enjoy Next-Gen TV services. Overwhelmingly, 96 per cent of the Core Target (those who rated the concept Very appealing and Very likely to use NextGen TV) said they were likely to buy a new TV set to experience Next-Gen TV.


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