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Next-Generation Broadcast TV (ATSC 3.0 Standard)

Next-Generation Broadcast TV (aka ATSC 3.0 standard): What Is It and How Will This Affect Your Household?

Fellow TV antenna lovers, there is a new broadcast TV standard coming in the very near future. With over 4,000 licensed broadcast stations transmitting FREE over-the-air TV content to millions of people, these broadcast stations are competing with streaming platforms such as Amazon, Netflix, and social media, where IP (Internet Protocol) video is available on demand. With this new ATSC 3.0 standard, called "Next-Generation Broadcast TV", broadcasters have an opportunity to integrate new features into IP-based TV, to compete with the ever-increasing Internet-driven media landscape.

 

 

Is broadcast TV still free over-the-air with a TV antenna?

Yes. Next-Generation Broadcast TV will continue to be FREE, with improved features that will enhance your TV-viewing experience. Broadcast TV signals provide public services, like emergency alert warnings for bad weather and breaking news. It is the broadcaster’s civic duty to continue transmitting the current standard, called ATSC 1.0, free over-the-air, for many years to come. There is no timetable set for the release of the new standard, and it is NOT mandatory for broadcasters to transition to the new Next-Generation Broadcast TV standard.

What’s more, a few changes need to happen before the public will be able to watch this new generation of broadcast TV. For instance, consumers will need a new TV or converter box with the 3.0 tuner. Today, all TVs and converter boxes (necessary for analog TVs and monitors) carry a 1.0 tuner. There is also a plan to add the 3.0 tuner to new mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. We are excited about this new standard because of all the great features you can receive watching broadcast TV with your TV antenna. We’ve compiled a list of some of the new features you can expect with Next-Generation Broadcast TV:

  • Free over-the-air TV that will combine IP-based programming with the traditional broadcast video we receive today. Next-Generation TV transmissions are extremely efficient, making it easier for you to receive free over-the-air signals with a TV antenna, especially useful for indoor or basement applications.
  • Advanced emergency alerts with enhanced graphics with hyperlocal relevance and wake-up-device features. This means the emergency alert will wake up your TV or smartphone to give you enough time to react to the warning.
  • Targeted ad campaigns for different viewers. You’ll need to opt-in with your personal information to receive targeted ad campaigns that correspond with your location and interests. We’ll add more information about this feature as we learn more about it.
  • Mobile capability, virtually everywhere, means passengers will be able to watch broadcast TV in your car while you’re on the road.
  • Immersive surround-sound, similar to theaters.
  • 4K Ultra-High Definition and high dynamic range video.
  • Modern user interface with recommendation engine (similar to Netflix).
  • In-home streaming of broadcast TV to other devices (such as smartphones and tablets).

There are also potential upgrades currently being developed, which may come at a monthly price or on a pay-per-view basis. Examples include newly released pay-per-view movies, the ability to listen to content in the language of your choice, multiple camera options for live sports, and “a la carte” cable network channels. These additional services will require a hardware device that could be built-in with a newly purchased TV, or as a separate device.

It’s an exciting time for broadcast TV and for those of you who have cut the cord and watch TV for FREE with an HDTV antenna. As we hear more about the new standard coming to your market, we’ll continue to send you updates. As always, we’ve got your back at Antennas Direct. Stay tuned!