Spartan PBS Station Launches ATSC 3.0 Test Facility


In collaboration with Michigan State University and WKAR-23 in East Lansing, Mich., Public Media Company has launched an experimental Next Gen TV broadcasting station.

This is the first ATSC 3.0 test station by a public media station and will be designed to explore the potential of Next Gen TV.

Public Media Company has assembled a group of 24 public television stations, known as the Public Media Venture Group, that are partnering together to develop, test and deploy new services using Next Gen TV.

WKAR is taking on this leadership role as a test station with full support of the Public Media Venture Group.

WKAR recently launched the PBS Kids Playtime Pad Research Project, an outreach and research partnership that brings together PBS KIDS, MSU researchers and the Lansing School District in a multi-year effort that provides an educational gaming tablet for every Lansing kindergartner. The project investigates the effectiveness of tablet-based learning initiatives in early childhood math literacy.

With the experimental ATSC 3.0 station as a testbed, MSU will open the NEXTGEN Media Innovation Lab, a new research facility to serve as a collaborative hub exploring the potential of ATSC 3.0. Early projects from the lab will focus on the use of NextGen media to improve childhood education, testing new models of intervention for elementary math and literacy.

Additionally, the research lab will help public television stations test ATSC 3.0 applications and develop business- and mission-linked opportunities, with an emphasis on outcomes related to public service applications such as education, health, local news and emergency alerting; plus, new areas such as connected and autonomous vehicles.