Comcast Testing NextGen Signal Over Cable in Portland

NextGen TV
Comcast is working with Portland stations to deliver NextGen TV's picture and sound quality

In a test of NextGen TV technology, Comcast is working with broadcasters in Portland, Oregon, to deliver the benefits of the ATSC 3.0 television standard to cable customers.

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Seven stations in Portland began broadcasting using ATSC 3.0 in July. The new standard delivers benefits including enhanced video and audio quality.  

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The stations are cooperating with Comcast to explore how to transmit ATSC 3.0 over the kind of hybrid fiber-coaxial infrastructure used by many operators.

“We’re excited to participate in this important work to advance NextGen TV using the new features of ATSC’s 3.0 set of standards. While it is still very early in the process, this short-term integration effort will provide broadcast partners, manufacturers, and our technical groups valuable insights into the performance of the technology,” said Jerry Parkins, Sr., director of digital technology and standards for Comcast. “We are currently exercising our links with the broadcast ATSC 3.0 over-the-air transmission signal, as well as adding more fiber link resources to our local headend as an important first step.”

The stations-KATU, KOIN, KGW. KPTV., KOPB, KRCW and KPDX-- are part of the Phoenix Model Market, in which local stations cooperate to roll out Next TV in a market.

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“We want to ensure that our viewers over cable can enjoy the enhanced video and audio experience that NextGen TV plans to offer,” explained Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV, which manages the Phoenix Model Market implementation. “Seven local broadcasters are now on the air with NextGen in Portland, so it makes sense to work with a major operator in the area like Comcast to determine what’s needed to distribute this new capability to cable customers,” Schelle said. 

The initial stages in the collaboration will develop the technical capability to pass along NextGen TV’s 4K Ultra HD content through cable and eventually to enable further features such as High Dynamic Range (HDR10), Wide Color Gamut and the ATSC 3.0 standard’s advanced immersive audio capabilities.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.