Seven broadcast TV companies have joined with Next-Gen TV proponent Pearl TV in what’s being called “a comprehensive effort” to show how the forthcoming ATSC 3.0 digital broadcast standard can be deployed while maintaining existing digital TV service (ATSC 1.0) for viewers.
The “model market” that’s been selected is Phoenix.
With the FCC on Thursday expected to move forward with rules that allow for the voluntary deployment of the ATSC 3.0 next-gen standard championed by Pearl TV and Sinclair Broadcast Group, broadcasters in the nation’s No. 12 DMA are already gearing up for the coming shift.
This includes the involvement of the following broadcast companies and their respective stations:
- The E.W. Scripps Co.’s KNXV-15 (ABC)
- FOX O&Os KSAZ-10(FOX) and KUTP-26 (MyTV Network)
- Meredith Corp.’s KPHO-5 (CBS) and KTVK-3 (Independent)
- Nexstar Media Group’s KASW-49 (CW Network)
- NBCUniversal/Telemundo Station Group’s KTAZ-39 (Telemundo)
- TEGNA’s KPNX-12 (NBC)
- Univision’s KFPH-35 (UniMás) and KTVW-33 (Univision).
Phoenix has more than 1.8 million households, with more than one in five viewers relying on over-the-air reception for TV viewing, according to Pearl TV.
“What we learn in Phoenix will be critical for a successful deployment of next-generation TV across the country,” said Pearl TV Managing Director Anne Schelle. “The model market collaboration will help broadcasters develop commercial launch profiles, station configurations, interoperability with MVPD retransmission and support requirements for a basic ATSC 3.0 TV service.”
The Phoenix “model market” project will create an open test bed for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders in the TV ecosystem.
The project has several objectives, including confirming basic TV service parameters and performance, determining the appeal of next-generation high dynamic range video and immersive audio content to consumers, assessing TV application features and implementation requirements, testing interactive and addressable advertising functionality, determining consumer device and service appeal, and ensuring effective and efficient interoperability with multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) systems. Creating an end-to-end model system will help foster industry consensus and drive ecosystem development. This includes development of the ‘lighthouse’ concept to keep legacy digital TV available for all viewers while new ATSC 3.0 services are being launched.
Pearl TV members also include Cox Media Group, Graham Media Group, and Raycom Media.