Showing posts with label ATSC 3. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ATSC 3. Show all posts

Feb 9, 2018

More 4K

Technically the new standard for over the air 4K is ATSC 3.0. This new broadcast standard is generally called "Next-Gen Broadcast TV" for simplicity sake.

There are some differences between the current (ATSC 1.0) antenna TV and the new Next-Gen TV. The new standard is internet protocol-based, which means it can carry internet content along with traditional TV broadcasts. The broadcast can also include 4K video and high dynamic range (HDR) content.
It also has higher-quality 3D multi-channel sound from content that supports it. All of which are more and better than what is available on normal (expensive) cable TV.

In addition to all those goodies, these new signals will be available on mobile devices as well as TVs.

Next-gen TV will enable enhanced emergency alerts, so consumers will receive more precise, localized warnings during natural disasters or fast-moving weather events.

The move to ATSC 3.0 is voluntary for broadcasters, unlike the Digital TV transition, when they were given a firm deadline for stopping analog broadcasts. Now each company gets to decide when to make the move, or not.

Traditional signals will still be free by law as now, but some additional services could be charged for as the new standard has two way communication built in. This presumes the FCC holds broadcasters to the same public interest obligations with the new broadcasts as they have with the current ones.

Of course, if all this seems to be too good to be true, it likely is. The new standard is not compatible with the current standard. Because all current TVs have ATSC 1.0 tuners, they will not be able to receive the new signals.

TV manufacturers will soon add both old (ATSC1) and new (ATSC3) into new sets. This will likely begin in late 2018 and 2019. LG is now shipping TVs in South Korea with both technologies built in. Someone will pay for this. . .

Also, another round of sticks and boxes for converting will come along, such new versions of Roku, FireTV, AppleTV etc., sticks and boxes.

So, the bottom line is that it will be immensely better to receive everything over the air, but it will likely not be free, and maybe not even cheap. This will be a major disruption for cable companies and change the whole digital landscape and players again.

The good news is that, since it is voluntary and costly to set up, it will be slow. We can enjoy what we have and do not need to dream of sugar plums for a few years. That is except for some techno geeks who just cannot wait to suffer more early adapter slings and arrows from new whiz-bang technology stuff. Oh, is my anticipation showing?