Why The World Series Is A Win For Next-Gen TV


In what’s being heralded as “a defining moment for the future of television,” Fox affiliate WJW-8 in Cleveland has aired the first live ATSC 3.0 broadcast of a major professional sporting event.

Using the newly standardized transmission system for the ATSC 3.0 Next-Gen TV standard, an experimental station at Channel 31 in Cleveland is simulcasting network and local programming from local Fox affiliate WJW-TV — the host affiliate for the network’s coverage of the 2016 World Series, featuring the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs.

Game One and Game Two are being held at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

Thank the NAB for the effort put into making it happen.

The industry lobbying association is the entity that received an FCC experimental license to operate a full-power ATSC 3.0 transmitter in Cleveland,  “as a living laboratory for broadcasters and manufacturers creating the Next-Gen TV service.”

The ATSC 3.0 broadcasts are using the transmitter and broadcast facilities of Tribune Media-owned WJW.

In addition to the support of Tribune Media, Fox and the NAB, the ATSC 3.0 World Series broadcasts are made possible by technical contributions of GatesAir (ATSC 3.0 exciter for over-the-air transmission), LG Electronics (ATSC 3.0 receivers and antennas), Harmonic (real-time encoders for HEVC video and Dolby AC4 audio) and Triveni Digital (signaling/announcement metadata, IP stream generation, ATSC 3.0 analyzer, and system integration support).

Richard Friedel, 2016 chairman of the Advanced Television Systems Committee, the standards development organization developing and documenting ATSC 3.0, spearheaded the project.

“This is a defining moment for the future of television. Together with Tribune Media, the NAB and our technology partners, we are showing the FCC and our fellow broadcasters that Next Gen TV is a grand slam home run,” said Friedel, who serves as EVP/GM of Fox Networks Engineering and Operations.

Tribune Broadcasting’s Director of Engineering Operations Bill VanDuynhoven added, “With this test station we’re swinging for the fences, putting the new transmission standard through its paces to demonstrate that ATSC 3.0 technologies are real and can deliver meaningful benefits to broadcasters and viewers alike.”

NAB executive vice president and chief technology officer Sam Matheny called the new Cleveland Next-Gen TV test station a platform for demonstrating the Big League capabilities of the ATSC 3.0 suite of standards. “ATSC 3.0 standards are nearing completion,” he said. “Over the coming months in conjunction with partners, we expect to test real-world Next Gen TV applications like UHD TV, interactive services, targeted advertising, advanced emergency alerting, and more.”

Field trials of the ATSC 3.0 Physical Layer standard using the Cleveland station – conducted this summer by broadcast equipment maker GatesAir and digital TV pioneers LG Electronics and its U.S. R&D subsidiary, Zenith – generated literally tens of thousands of data points showing how Next Gen TV with ATSC 3.0 can deliver 4K Ultra HD content, excellent robust mobile reception, deep indoor reception by fixed receivers and unparalleled spectrum efficiency.