Advanced Television

5 Louisville stations launch NEXTGEN TV

September 13, 2022

By Colin Mann

Louisville television viewers can now experience the future of broadcast television as five local TV stations join together to launch broadcast technology standard NEXTGEN TV, otherwise known as ATSC 3.0. Block Communications’ WBKI will host five stations including Block’s WDRB and market partners WAVE, WHAS and WBNA; Kentucky Educational Television’s (KET) WKMJ will launch on September 19th.

Delivering more expansive audio and video options, as well as other new capabilities, NEXTGEN TV delivers an enhanced live broadcast viewing experience to more than 660,000 viewers in the metro and outlying areas of Louisville.

NEXTGEN TV is the first major overhaul to the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s standard for receiving over-the-air (OTA) signals in 25 years. Now broadcasting in more than 50 markets, NEXTGEN TV is expected to reach 60 per cent of US television households by the end of 2022.

“For nearly 120 years, Block Communications has reflected a diversified media group, bringing news and entertainment to our viewers,” said Dale Woods, vice president of TV broadcasting, at Block Communications. “As broadcast television has fundamentally changed over the last 10 years, our team recognised that the introduction of NEXTGEN TV would do the very same, and our viewers are the biggest benefactors of this innovation. Our excitement about this new standard and the opportunities it presents the business of broadcasting today and in the future has only grown since we joined Pearl TV in this transition.”

Viewers can find NEXTGEN TV-enabled televisions from Hisense, Sony, LG Electronics and Samsung at local and national retailers, starting at $599. While features available on NEXTGEN TV will vary by device and broadcaster as commercial service launches in local markets, it is designed to be upgraded, enabling a viewer’s television set to advance seamlessly with the latest technology—in addition to sophisticated day-one video and audio features.

Associated with NEXTGEN TV is the RUN3TV web platform that brings interactive experiences and streaming content to over-the-air viewers. Built by broadcasters for broadcasters, RUN3TV’s web-based platform architecture enables stations to develop, innovate, and differentiate at the application services layer, allowing a consistent viewer experience across all NEXTGEN TV devices. The broadcaster can leverage advanced advertising in live and streaming content, audience insights, and premium content distribution thanks to the new platform.

“NEXTGEN TV delivers unprecedented entertainment, information and engagement opportunities to consumers and it will revolutionise Louisville viewers interactions with their screens,” stated Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV, a business organisation of US broadcast companies. “Today and in the future, Louisville viewers will have a television experience that is more immersive, visually and audibly better, and will continue to be enhanced as more features from broadcasters and device manufacturers become available.”

Louisville viewers can find five channels over-the-air on channel 16 with NEXTGEN TV: Block Communications’ WBKI and WDRB (CW and Fox); Gray Television’s WAVE (NBC); TEGNA’s WHAS (ABC); and Word’s WBNA (Independent). Shortly following will be KET’s WKMJ, (PBS), on channel 34. Viewers watching these channels can look forward to enhanced television viewing enabled by NEXTGEN TV as a complement to streaming platforms.

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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