Seattle-Tacoma has become the largest market to date to implement use of ATSC 3.0-powered Next Gen TV broadcasting.
Seven TV stations in the market have begun using the technology: KOMO-TV (ABC), KIRO-TV (CBS), KCPQ (FOX), KING-TV (NBC), KONG (Ind.), KZJO (MyNet), and KUNS-TV (Univision).
Participating stations cooperated to ensure that current programming remains available to all viewers, regardless of whether their television service is provided over-the-air or by a cable or satellite company.
Antenna viewers are being provided with instructions on how to rescan their TV sets to ensure full service.
BitPath — which plans to launch the nation's first dedicated broadcast data network starting next year— coordinated the efforts across
the Seattle stations.
NextGen TV -- which also launched recently in Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida -- can support in-development features including immersive audio and video (up to 4K), broadcasting to mobile devices, personalized viewing tools, and advanced emergency alerts providing rich media instead of simple text messages. It also allows full integration with 5G and other broadband-delivered Internet content.
Some local TV broadcasters are betting that ATSC 3.0 technology will help them better compete for advertising with digital media, as well as please viewers with better over-the-air and mobile reception, and other benefits.
Unlike cellular networks, which send individual signals to individual devices, ATSC 3.0 can be used to datacast simultaneously to all connected devices in a market.
Scalability has been a concern. But Bitpath says its network will cover “dozens” of U.S. cities by 2022.