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ATSC 3.0 Physical Layer Approved

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) announced Sept. 8 that its members have signed off on the physical layer of ATSC 3.0, the next-gen broadcast TV transmission system that allows for over-the-air delivery of services like 4K resolution, high dynamic range (HDR) and targeted advertising.

The physical layer, which allows for broadcasters to deliver TV services in difficult reception conditions, includes the use of single frequency networks, channel bonding, and generally gives broadcasters the ability to choose from several transmission parameters. The physical layer is just one of many standards in the works for ATSC 3.0, but the approval does mark a milestone for the work being done by ATSC, according to group president Mark Richer.

“The hundreds of technology experts from around the world who have contributed their time and expertise to this process have selected the best and most flexible transmission system as the foundation of ATSC 3.0. While other ingredients of the ATSC 3.0 standard are still in the final stages of standardization, the approval of the over-the-air transmission system is a foundation for the future,” he said in a statement.

“We’re likely to see both 4K Ultra HD broadcasts running side-by-side with robust mobile broadcasts to handheld devices, thanks to the innate flexibility of ATSC 3.0’s physical layer. The system will allow high-capacity modes when stunning video is more important. And it also permits lower-capacity transmissions with extremely high robustness for receivers on the go.”

LG Electronics’ president and CTO Dr. Skott Ahn applauded the adoption of the ATSC 3.0 physical layer, touting his company’s contributions to the work: “We are proud that LG technology is behind the majority of the elements of the physical layer transmission system and grateful to have been involved with many other experts in developing the new standard,” Ahn said in a statement.

Dr. Jong Kim, LG senior VP and president of the Zenith R&D Lab, added: “Broadcasters will soon be able to enjoy new levels of flexibility and offer new services to viewers, from stunning 4K Ultra HD signals to TV ‘on the go’ that will be available on a wide variety of ATSC 3.0-enabled devices.”