Advanced Television

NEXTGEN TV highlights industry momentum

January 6, 2022

By Colin Mann

The coalition of US broadcasters transitioning to digital television standard NEXTGEN TV has applauded the plans announced during CES 2022 by Hisense and MediaTek, and new field test data recently achieved by Sony Electronics at the ‘Motown 3.0 Open Test Track’ in Detroit, Mich.

This testing by Sony’s HES-A engineering team further explores receiver options for automotive OEMs leveraging the ATSC 3.0 NEXTGEN TV protocol to moving automobiles and stationary devices simultaneously. These latest developments focused on consumer and innovation options for electronics manufacturers and the automotive industry—coupled with an unprecedented rate of growth and markets launched—further underscore NEXTGEN TV’s trajectory toward ubiquitous inclusion and adoption.

Now broadcasting in more than 40 markets covering 45 per cent of the US population, NEXTGEN TV is expected to reach 75 per cent of US households by summer. According to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), overall 2021 sales of NEXTGEN TVs more than tripled last year’s original forecast, with 3 million units shipped by manufacturers. CTA is projecting 2022 NEXTGEN TV sales of 4.5 million units, as the number of TV makers endorsing the hybrid over-the-air and over-the-top ATSC 3.0 technology continues to grow.

“NEXTGEN TV has garnered remarkable traction in a relatively short time since the first commercial launch in early 2020, proving that watching TV is more than just one of America’s favourite pastimes. Television is our source for news, entertainment and access to our communities and the broader world,” stated Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV, a broadcaster coalition managing the NEXTGEN TV rollout. “NEXTGEN TV enhances broadcast TV and is a critical technology to the preservation of free, over-the-air local news. We’re very happy to be back at CES, showcasing NEXTGEN TV’s role at the forefront of the evolution of broadcast television and the changes in consumer perception of it.”

Consumer electronics and appliance manufacturer Hisense is integrating NEXTGEN TV technology into select new Smart TV models, bringing more broadcast options and upgrades to viewers who are ready for 4K over-the-air content and the latest upgrades. In Q3 of 2022, Hisense will introduce the U9H, U8H and U7 models starting at $799.99 to the retail market. Hisense joins other manufacturers—Sony, Samsung and LG Electronics—which already, combined, have more than 70 models available at retail.

“As Hisense receivers equipped with NEXTGEN TV hit store shelves later this year, consumers will have more model and pricing choices, on top of an improved audio and visual experience,” claimed Schelle. “Hisense pushes the boundaries of innovation that is reflective of the value of what NEXTGEN TV delivers.”

MediaTek has signed a test agreement with Pearl TV to speed the implementation of the ATSC 3.0 standard among leading television brands through a total solution that includes ATSC 3.0 demodulator (MT9100), a comprehensive Smart TV system on chip (SoC) family that ranges from entry 4K to premium 8K, and a ready-to-go software stack for both Android and Linux. This highly-integrated ATSC 3.0 solution for Smart TVs will enable television brands a faster time to market with reduced cost and risk of development.

“By embracing NEXTGEN TV, MediaTek reaffirms its commitment to enabling the most forward-thinking standards and technologies,” commented Alfred Chan, vice president of TV and smart home business unit at MediaTek. “We are thrilled to be working with a diverse network of broadcasters, engineers, and gifted innovators to help advance this technology and help put it in more consumer living rooms, kitchens, garages, dorm rooms—wherever people gather to enjoy news and entertainment.”

The Motown Test Track for merging automotive applications with NEXTGEN TV continues its research and development for the automotive industry, road testing proof-of-concepts around fleet services and connected car solutions using the IP capabilities of the ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard. As 5G and other technologies gradually come online, ATSC 3.0 uniquely offers a one-to-many delivery option, with a robust, fully scalable platform at a lower cost than other solutions.

Sony Electronics successfully demonstrated robust automotive services using its CXD2885 chip named ‘CLOVER’ on the Test Track in summer of 2021, proving that ATSC 3.0 can indeed provide service to both automobiles and stationary devices simultaneously, and deliver seamlessly hand off service. To be detailed in an upcoming technical paper by the partners involved, the latest milestones achieved include:

  • Audio/visual media files transmitted and delivered to devices while traveling at highway speeds
  • Transmitters in separate markets working in tandem provided a seamless transition of audio/visual content
  • Successful file reception completed with multiple antennas
    • Antenna diversity along with a Maximum Ratio Combining algorithm improves probability of recovering service in low signal energy conditions

“Sony’s results prove that transformative advances in core TV broadcast technologies made possible by ATSC 3.0 give terrestrial broadcasters new ways to deliver infotainment and IP data services to an infinite number of vehicles—and the displays and devices in them—simultaneously, whether on-the-go or in the garage,” explained Schelle. “As the automotive industry aims to be more like the tech and telecom industries, where they can secure customers with services and downloadable features that improve over time and generate recurring revenues, they will be interested to follow the developments coming out of the Motown 3.0 Test Track.”

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