Pearl TV has launched a collaborative project with Sony Electronics to develop “an essential viewer navigation ingredient” for next-generation television.
What is it? Simply stated, it is a reimagined on-screen television program guide that will be responsive to consumer commands.
The new channel navigation tool, part of the larger interactive content environment for next-generation ATSC 3.0, is being developed for the “Phoenix Model Market” project that is supported by 10 Phoenix market TV stations.
“Our finished product for the Phoenix Model Market will be the first Electronic Service Guide with program information from both broadcasters and multichannel providers built with ATSC 3.0 technology,” said Pearl TV Managing Director Anne Schelle. “This innovative platform will bring a state-of-the-art experience to the viewer with interactivity, personalization and voice command support, both directly to the TV and indirectly through companion devices, such as tablets and mobile phones.”
Pearl TV is a business organization of U.S. broadcast companies with a shared interest in the rollout of the next-gen broadcast TV standard. Its members are Cox Media Group, The E.W. Scripps Company, Graham Media Group, Hearst Television, Meredith Local Media Group, Nexstar Media Group, Raycom Media and TEGNA.
“We believe this work will lead to better viewer experiences for consumers as well as provide a great resource for the industry at large,” said Mike Fasulo, President/COO of Sony Electronics.
Schelle adds that this will be the first fully-compliant implementation of an ATSC 3.0 interactive environment. “New applications developed for the ATSC 3.0 platform will control interactive advertising and offer consumers new capabilities, such as accessing digital coupons,” she said. “The system will bring together broadcast over-the-air signals, cable and satellite retransmission, and streaming over-the-top channels for viewers of next-gen TV. Recognizing that broadcasting needed to evolve, Sony has played an integral role in the development of ATSC 3.0 since the beginning of its development more than seven years ago as a key contributor of technology and industry leadership.”
As part of this partnership, Sony will be involved in Pearl’s Phoenix Model Market later this year.
In a preview of that collaboration, Pearl will be demonstrating Sony’s prototype implementation of the full, ATSC 3.0-compliant protocol stack to interested broadcasters at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.
DEMODULATOR CHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRESSES
Separately, Sony Semiconductor Solutions is in the advanced stages of development of a demodulator chip for ATSC 3.0 receivers. Sony already has carried out field testing in North Carolina and Maryland. The company also is planning additional field tests at WJW, the experimental station in Ohio owned by Tribune Media that is the Cleveland market’s FOX affiliate.