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Futurecast Preps Cleveland ATSC 3.0 Test

The backers of the Futurecast Universal Terrestrial Broadcasting System are planning a test of the technology later this spring on Cleveland’s Channel 31.

Futurecast, which was codeveloped by LG Electronics, its U.S. R&D subsidiary Zenith, and GatesAir, is a proposal for the “physical layer” of the ATSC 3.0 broadcast system currently being put together by the Advanced Television Systems Committee. 

Last year, the backers conducted tests at WKOW-TV in Madison, Wis. of the system, which can broadcast 4K Ultra HD content and two robust mobile TV streams in a single 6-Megahertz channel. 

The 2014 tests collected nearly 50,000 pieces of data from scores of reception sites including challenging reception areas inside buildings, in fast-moving vehicles and at locations ranging from downtown to 50 miles from the transmitter.

GatesAir has received a special temporary experimental broadcast license from the FCC to operate a full-power Channel 31 transmitter in the Cleveland area. 

It will use the license to test Futurecast over the next six months using the transmitter and broadcast facilities of WJW-TV, the Tribune Media-owned Fox affiliate in Cleveland.

“Enabling the ability to offer new services and capabilities like 4K, mobile and interactive services are of keen interest to Tribune Media, Pearl TV and NAB Labs,” said Larry Wert, Tribune’s president of broadcast media. “The new standard will need to be more robust, flexible and extensible, and we’re looking forward to seeing how Futurecast and other proposed systems will work in real-world conditions.”