Advanced Television

NAB/FCC Future of TV initiative

April 19, 2023

By Colin Mann

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has announced a new public-private initiative led by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to guide the next steps of NextGen TV. The ‘Future of TV’ initiative will work to identify a roadmap to orderly transition ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0-based services as smoothly as possible for consumers.

“Today, we are announcing a public-private initiative, led by the National Association of Broadcasters, to help us work through outstanding challenges faced by industry and consumers,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel in her speech at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. “This Future of Television initiative will gather industry, government, and public interest stakeholders to establish a roadmap for a transition to ATSC 3.0 that serves the public interest. A successful transition will provide for an orderly shift from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0 and will allow broadcasters to innovate while protecting consumers, especially those most vulnerable.”

“With over 60 per cent of Americans already in range of a Next Gen TV signal, we are excited to work closely with all stakeholders, including the FCC, to bring Next Gen TV and all of its benefits to all viewers,” said NAB CEO Curtis LeGeyt. “We commend the Chairwoman, her staff and the Media Bureau for the hard work they have put into making this collaborative effort a reality. NAB and broadcasters will continue to work tirelessly to pave the way for this exciting new technology, which will revolutionise the way viewers consume broadcast content and enable local stations to better serve their communities.”

The initiative’s working groups are expected to focus on addressing backwards compatibility and its impact on consumers; the final conditions needed to complete the national transition to ATSC 3.0; and consideration of the post-transition regulatory landscape. The working groups will be formed in the coming weeks and will involve a diverse array of stakeholders.

The FCC adopted rules in 2017 to support a voluntary, market-by-market rollout of ATSC 3.0, which first became available in 2020 in Las Vegas. For consumers to access NextGen TV signals requires new, ATSC 3.0-compatible televisions or reception devices which pose important cost and accessibility challenges. The FCC is committed to working with industry and non-profit partners to ensure any transition is smooth.

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