Showing posts with label 5G. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 5G. Show all posts

May 4, 2018

Next Generation TV and 5G

Next Gen TV is an internet based system, which means it can carry internet content along with traditional over-the-air broadcast signal. It provides new services like video on demand, mobile viewing, 4K Ultra Hi-Def, enhanced emergency alerts, a high frame rate, more colorful picture, and immersive audio – all delivered free with an over-the-air antenna. It is based on the ATSC 3.0 standard. Although current over-the-air TV antennas are able to receive the new signals, there are no TVs, no converter boxes, and no DVRs on the market in North America today that support ATSC 3.0's Next Gen TV.

Next Gen TV is totally separate from 5G. Basically Next Gen TV is for free over-the-air TV and 5G is for communications. 5G will provide wireless to the house and is likely to offer the strongest competition to the world’s free, over-the-air broadcast model. Planned 5G services may offer multiple content streams, 4K, support for new video standards, mobile reception, and on multiple devices. Vendors, carriers, and broadcasters trying to be first to market are feverishly spending billions to set up new signal boxes, antennas, and repeaters for both technologies. (editorial - Cord cutters, millennial lifestyles, and people opting out due to poor service and high prices have forced vendors to find new ways to drill into our wallets.)

Next Gen TV was specifically designed to support mobile uses like rear-seat entertainment and navigation systems in vehicles, in addition to phones and other portable devices. We will be able to watch broadcast TV in a moving car with a better signal than we receive in our living room today.

Here are main points of the ATSC 3.0 Next Gen transition:

  • 4K Ultra HD Video
  • High dynamic range (HDR) color management
  • 1+4 surround sound and immersive audio
  • More multi-casting - over 100 sub-channels per main channel, which means potentially hundreds of over-the-air channels per market
  • More reliable and robust transmissions less prone to interference
  • Indoor reception will be much easier with an antenna
  • Will allow two way communications with the broadcaster to choose viewing angle on sports, etc.
  • Will allow targeted advertising to particular demographics
  • More detailed show info, actor bios, etc.
  • Immersive and Virtual Reality experience.
There is much hype with the transition, but it will be a lengthy process. Some carriers, such as AT&T, Verizon, etc., are testing now in Dallas and Phoenix. Other cities are planning to begin testing soon. There are currently no broadcasters transmitting in 3.0 (other than as tests) and they will not be until likely 2019 at the earliest. It will all depend on when a station decides to make the switch. To take advantage of this new technology, consumers will need a device with a 3.0 tuner chip set. One TV maker, LG is planning to offer TVs this year with a combination of the current 1.0 tuner and a 3.0 chip included. A tuner is a device or computer chip that provides the TV Guide capability.

Bad news is that all of the Next Gen and 5G technology deployment will cost consumers a bundle for new phones, TVs, PCs, routers, and tuners. In addition, we should be prepared to see rates go up as early as this year,because the purveyors seek to recoup their investment as soon as possible. Next gen TV will not require an internet connection, but some features will not work without one.


Good news is that there is not a hard turn off deadline for ATSC 1.0 (for TVs) or 4G LTE (for phones and other devices). There is no specific date when all of a sudden there will no longer be 1.0 or 4G and everyone will be broadcasting in 3.0 or delivering 5G as there was with the conversion from analog to digital TV. No need to put off purchases now for either, as both will be a few years from full deployment. As with all new technology, prices will fall hard and fast as widespread adoption takes place.