ATSC 3.0 to Play Big at NAB Show

When the NAB Show kicks off April 16 in Las Vegas, attendees won’t be able to avoid ATSC 3.0.

The next-generation standard — which combines broadband and broadcast, allowing for over-the-air 4K and high dynamic range (HDR) delivery — will see its own “broadcast pavilion” and “consumer experience” sections at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), a sign that the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) are serious about pushing adoption of the IP-based broadcast technology.

“The monumental effort underway to standardize ATSC 3.0 is nearing completion, with more than 20 elements of the new standard in play,” ATSC president Mark Richer said in a statement. “Hundreds of volunteer experts have been working to develop the world’s first broadcast standard built with an IP backbone, and we’re excited to see the many capabilities of this next-generation broadcasting platform at the upcoming NAB Show.”

Live transmissions using ATSC 3.0, originating from the NAB Show floor, will be sent to prototype receivers, and the ATSC 3.0 Broadcast Pavilion (part of the Futures Park exhibition in the east end of the LVCC’s South Hall) will feature a slew of ATSC 3.0-enabled broadcast equipment, including multiplexers, HDR content transmission equipment, encoders, signal analyzers, watermarking software and interactive TV apps.

And near the entrance to the upper level of the LVCC South Hall, NAB will have an ATSC 3.0 Consumer Experience area, where attendees can find new ATSC 3.0 receivers feeding tablets and mobile devices with content, along with TV audio demonstrations.

“ATSC 3.0 has the potential to strengthen broadcasters’ ability to provide a richer and more personalized content experiences for viewers,” said NAB CTO Sam Matheny. “The progress that ATSC has made in developing a new standard has been remarkable, and we look forward to showcasing next-generation TV technology at [the] NAB Show.”

Jeff Joseph, senior VP for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), said NAB’s ATSC 3.0 demonstrations shows the broadcasting industry is preparing itself for the millions of 4K Ultra HD TVs and receivers being sold this year.

“Consumers are hungry for new sources of 4K content, and we expect to see several examples of new product capabilities shown for the first time in the ATSC 3.0 Consumer Experience display,” he said.

ATSC 3.0 made headlines in February when LG Electronics successfully tested an end-to-end 4K broadcast in South Korea using the standard, marking the first time a live camera feed with real-time IP transmissions was used.