Advanced Television

NEXTGEN TV: 2nd transmission facility

October 15, 2019

By Colin Mann

As broadcasters converge on Manhattan this week for NAB Show New York, the Phoenix Model Market partners and Pearl TV have revealed several developments that will positively impact the deployment of NEXTGEN TV signals throughout the USA.

A second transmission facility for NEXTGEN TV broadcasts in Phoenix, AZ is planned for later in 2019 that will power a Single Frequency Network (SFN) – the first market to have two transmission towers with a SFN configuration — once the transmission licences are approved by the FCC and the facilities are on-air.

“We’re excited to soon add a second transmission facility for NEXTGEN TV, powered by ATSC 3.0, to the Phoenix Model Market,” declared Brian Lawlor President of Local Media for Scripps. “The E.W. Scripps Company is planning to build a NEXTGEN TV facility with KASW Television as the host station, along with Scripps-owned KNXV Television, and other stations in the Phoenix market.”

“The KASW TV facility will provide one node (of a total of four total transmission locations) that will cover the Phoenix market with a very robust over-the-air signal using a Single Frequency Network,” explained Dave Folsom, Pearl TV Lead Technical Engineer. “This new technology provides a means by which NEXTGEN TV can be transmitted on the same frequency at different locations throughout a local coverage area, thus increasing the signal strength to the viewer. The unique technology of NEXTGEN TV enables this capability for television broadcasters.”

A common ‘application framework’ will be shown publicly for the first time at NAB Show NY, with prototype TV receivers demonstrating how the user experience will likely look on various brands of consumer NEXTGEN TV sets. Phoenix Model Market and Pearl TV will be showcasing the new framework incubated in Phoenix as well as prototype NEXTGEN TV receivers in the ATSC booth at N1055 on the NAB Show NY exhibit floor.

Designed to give local broadcasters the ability to differentiate the viewing experience with their own branding and interactive features, the initial launch will feature a new interactive menu available for viewing live over-the-air TV and will feature weather updates and locally generated video-on-demand functionality.

“We know that broadcasters will want to present their own station’s identity on the NEXTGEN TV platform, just as they do today on their own websites,” noted Anne Schelle, Managing Director of Pearl TV. “Additional features such as in-programming interactivity and local streaming content could also be delivered by each station, depending on their capabilities and technical roadmap.”

Engineers who have worked in the Phoenix Model Market project over the past year have produced a near 100-page Host Station Manual that will help the dozens of stations soon to be launching in the Top 40 largest TV markets across the country.

“This comprehensive guide will be a tremendous asset to station engineers who must now manoeuvre the complexities of launching an ATSC 3.0 Host Station and mixing signals from various broadcasters and sources,” added Schelle. “We know that it will take a tremendous amount of cooperation to launch NEXTGEN TV services powered by ATSC 3.0 while at the same time maintaining ATSC 1.0 channels that are today watched by viewers. That’s why Pearl TV and the Phoenix Model Market partners are launching both the Host Station Manual and also an informative video that will be useful in explaining how channel sharing will be necessary.”

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