It’s one thing to read an article or hear a speech about something, and another thing entirely to see it for yourself.
That’s exactly what the private demos of ATSC 3.0 put on this week at CES 2016 by Sinclair Broadcast Group/ONE Media, Samsung and the Pearl TV consortium are trying to accomplish.
“This next generation standard is a platform that we can do so much with, and it is going to keep pace with what is out there,” said Anne Schelle, executive director of the Pearl TV consortium during a telephone interview from Las Vegas.
There are several reasons the standard will position broadcasters to remain competitive far into the future, but one of the most important is that ATSC 3.0 is IP-based, and that is a critical part of what the private demos are trying to convey, said Mark Aitken, VP of advanced technology for Sinclair.
“With the [ONEMedia ATSC 3.0] gateway, we are showing how we have hijacked, if you will, standard boxes like Amazon Fires, and using those in conjunction with the home gateway support HDTV, high dynamic range UHDTV and a multiplicity of other HD services and have flung [content] to tablets and other devices via standard Wi-Fi because this is an all-IP broadcast standard,” Aitken said on the phone from Las Vegas during the same interview.
A simple interface allows everyone in a household — or in this instance, in the suite where the demos are taking place — to choose their own content stream from the gateway and view it on their own digital device, he said.
Another possibility is to set up a profile of the type of content an individual would like to receive and to have that content cached and downloaded to provide an interactive experience with standard tablets and other devices, Aitken added.
ATSC 3.0 signals transmitted from a Sinclair transmitter on Black Mountain, about 25 miles from Las Vegas, as well as those being transmitted in the suite itself are providing the OTA component of the demonstrations.
Both Schelle and Aitken said they hope this real-world demonstration of what the next-generation broadcast standard can do will give broadcasters, consumer electronics vendors and others who will be part of the ATSC 3.0 ecosystem the chance to witness for themselves what the future of over-the-air broadcasting can be.