Florida broadcasters launching NEXTGEN TV
December 2, 2020
By Colin Mann
Florida viewers in the nation’s 12th largest TV market will get a taste of the future as local TV stations band together to launch ATSC 3.0 digital television standard NEXTGEN TV along the gulf coast.
“Watching in NEXTGEN TV allows a viewer to be immersed in stunning video with brilliant colour, sharper images and deeper contrast that will make viewers feel like they’re really there,” explained Anne Schelle, managing director, Pearl TV, a business organisation of nine US broadcast companies working now to promote NEXTGEN TV.
“NEXTGEN TV adds a whole new dimension to TV viewing, with brilliant video and new Voice + dialogue enhancement. You’ll feel the power of movie theatre-quality sound that lets you hear every voice clearly and offers consistent volume across channels. NEXTGEN TV is also enhanced with Internet Content to get the most out of live sports, live news, live events and more, in real time.”
From Phoenix to Portland, and Pittsburgh to Raleigh, NEXTGEN TV service is already on the air in more than a dozen cities across the US. The Tampa / St. Petersburg market joins the early adopters in rolling out the new third-generation digital TV broadcast technology that has the potential to revolutionise how TV viewers interact with their home screens.
“The introduction of NEXTGEN TV, by rule of the FCC, requires TV broadcasters wanting to launch next-generation services to work collaboratively so that no current viewer is left behind. Thus, some stations are transmitting in the new format while others are hosting their competitors’ first-generation signals. We’re learning how best to serve our viewers so that they can make a transition to the new technology at their own pace,” Schelle added.
- WMOR-TV (Independent) is owned and operated by Hearst Television and will serve as the host station for the market’s NEXTGEN TV signals from WMOR-TV, WFTS-TV, WFLA-TV, WTSP-TV, and WTVT-TV.
- ABC affiliate WFTS-TV, owned by The E.W. Scripps Company, will host existing first-generation digital TV signals and provide their NEXTGEN TV signal to WMOR-TV for broadcast to viewers.
- NBC affiliate WFLA-TV, owned by Nexstar, will provide NEXTGEN TV signals to WMOR-TV for broadcast to viewers.
- CBS affiliate WTSP-TV, owned by TEGNA, will also host existing first-generation digital TV signals and provide their NEXTGEN TV signal to WMOR-TV for broadcast to viewers.
- Fox affiliate WTVT-TV, owned by Fox Television Stations, will also host existing first-generation digital TV signals and provide their NEXTGEN TV signal to WMOR-TV for broadcast to viewers.
“We want consumers to understand that the NEXTGEN TV experience from local stations will be getting better and better, as more functions and features are added down the road. NEXTGEN TV services launch in 1080P high-definition, with WMOR-TV also providing the market’s first High Dynamic Range video for enhanced performance on HDR-equipped receivers,” said Pamela Barber, President and General Manager of Heart Television. WMOR will also be the first station in the country to offer a secure signal compliant with the new A3SA security authority.
By merging over-the-air TV with the Internet, NEXTGEN TV is going to change the way viewers watch live broadcast television. Local stations can now personalise their news, sports, live events and shows with interactive features that give viewers the content most relevant to them. NEXTGEN TV is a feature built into select new TV models from LG Electronics, Samsung, and Sony that are now at retail and available soon.
NEXTGEN TV is designed to be upgradable so a viewer’s television advances with the latest technology. Features available on NEXTGEN TV will vary by device and by broadcaster as commercial service becomes available in local markets.