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CES: 4K Broadcasts Planned in Vegas With ATSC 3.0

Visitors to CES 2016 will be treated to a major improvement in broadcast technologies, with a demo of a 4K over-the-air broadcast using the proposed ATSC 3.0 next generation broadcasting system.

While UHD or 4K has been a major theme for the last few years, broadcast stations are currently unable to deliver 4K broadcasts using the existing ATSC standard.

Such tests aren’t new however.

The demo will use the same system successfully tested in early December 2015 at Sinclair’s KSNV, the NBC affiliate in Las Vegas and is part of a larger series of tests of ATSC 3.0 involving Sinclair, the Pearl TV consortium, which is backed by a number of major broadcasting station groups, and Samsung.

Sinclair, which has been a major proponent of the creation of a new broadcast standard, also worked with Technicolor in October of 2014 on the first ATSC 3.0 4K over the air broadcast.

The newest tests will use a complete set of ATSC 3.0 technologies, reports TV Technology.

Above and beyond the ability to handle 4K broadcasts, the ATSC 3.0 system will bring a number of notable new features to broadcasters. These include better compression using HEVC, an IP video stream that will make the system more compatible with digital technologies, and greatly improved capabilities for interactivity and broadcasting to mobile devices.

The Advanced Television Systems Committee has already completed major portions of its work on ATSC. Ten parts of the ATSC 3.0 suite of standards have been either approved as candidate standards or are in the process of being voted on. The remaining pieces will be voted on in early 2016.

The group is still hoping to have the standard in place for stations in time for the completion of the FCC spectrum auction and subsequent spectrum repack.