How NPG’s Central CA TV Trio Is Helping ATSC 3.0 Advance


SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. — On California’s Central Coast, three broadcast TV stations owned by NPG Broadcasting of St. Joseph, Mo. have attracted the world’s attention.

It’s not because of news anchor CJ Ward, or because of the region’s wintry weather.

Rather, it’s because, as Ward said on Wednesday’s late newscast, “The future of broadcast television is here — literally.”

NPG’s ABC affiliate in this region, KEYT-3, is one of the first stations in the nation to get on board with the next-gen broadcast TV standard, known as “ATSC 3.0.”

KEYT, along with co-owned KCOY-12 in Santa Maria and KKFX-CD 11 in San Luis Obispo, are hosting members of the Advanced Television Systems Committee, who are brainstorming ahead of the NAB Show in Las Vegas, set for early April.

NAB VP/Advanced Technology So Vang was interviewed by KEYT, and he explained to viewers in layman’s terms what next-gen transmissions could bring.

Guy Hadland, a VP at Unisoft Corp., a digital TV software company, added, “The broadcasters have been trying to catch up a little bit with the cable companies, so I think it’s very exciting.”

Personalization and geo-targeting of messages was also explained in the 2 minute, 26-second report, which ends by noting that, “like old TVs,” the over-the-air signal will be free.

While the first sets will be costly, the KEYT report ended with the prediction that once new sets capable of receiving ATSC 3.0 signals become more common, the price will drop.