Advanced Television

10 Houston stations launch NEXTGEN TV

December 7, 2021

By Colin Mann

Television viewers in Houston, the eighth-largest TV market in the US, can now experience the future of broadcast television as 10 local TV stations launch digital broadcast technology NEXTGEN TV, using the digital television standard ATSC 3.0.

Now broadcasting in 35 markets, NEXTGEN TV is expected to reach 45 per cent of US television households by the end of the year. The Houston launch marks a significant milestone, as it is the largest number of stations to transition in a single market at one time.

NEXTGEN TV is a feature built into select new TV models manufactured by LG Electronics, Samsung, and Sony—and widely available to consumers with a rapidly growing number of television sets in homes across the US.

“Houston will now get the most out of live news, events, and sports programming, as NEXTGEN TV merges over-the-air antenna TV with the internet, enhancing its information and entertainment value,” stated Ralph Rendon, vice president of Creative Services and Programming for KRIV/KTXH, the FOX-owned duopoly in Houston. “Through a combined effort of investment, meeting critical deadlines, and deployment of powerful new technologies, we’re able to provide a better and more engaging audio and video experience for our viewers.”

“This launch took an extraordinary amount of collaboration among the 10 TV stations involved and is a clear demonstration of the entire industry’s commitment to NEXTGEN TV,” said Brett Jenkins, EVP and chief technology officer for Nexstar Media Group, Inc. “Viewers will quickly notice the brilliant video and improved audio delivered by NEXTGEN TV. But along with these enhancements come important upgrades in broadcaster’s ability to provide new customer experiences and services, allowing us to explore new business opportunities to meet the challenges of today’s evolving digital world.”

“These stations all share a commitment to provide their viewers with the best content and service and the launch of NEXTGEN TV enables that by creating a more inspiring and personalised viewing experience,” commented Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV, the broadcaster business group that is coordinating NEXTGEN TV station launches. “NEXTGEN TV exponentially expands the type of content broadcasters can provide their unique audiences, and the ways that viewers can engage with their television screens and the level of information they will have access to. Houston’s launch underscores the excitement we all share as we continue innovating this revolutionary technology for viewers.”

Houston viewers can now find 10 channels over-the-air with NEXTGEN TV: FOX Television Stations’ KTXH (My Network, channel 20) and owned-and-operated KRIV (FOX, channel 26); Nexstar Media Group, Inc.’s KIAH (CW, channel 29); Univision’s KFTH (UniMas, channel 67) and owned-and-operated KXLN (Univision, channel 45); ABC owned-and-operated KTRK (ABC, channel 13); Graham Media Group’s KPRC (NBC, channel 2); TEGNA’s KHOU (CBS, channel 11); NBCUniversal-owned KTMD (Telemundo, channel 47; and University of Houston’s KUHT (PBS, channel 2). Viewers watching these channels can look forward to enhanced television viewing provided by NEXTGEN TV as a complement to streaming platforms, as NEXTGEN TV is provided as a free OTA service to viewers.

The participating stations have worked together to ensure that current programming remains available to all viewers, regardless of whether their television service is provided over-the-air or by a cable or satellite company. Antenna viewers can simply rescan their TV sets to ensure full service.

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