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NAB-CTA Team on ATSC 3.0 Test Lab

Sinclair isn't the only one looking to leverage Tribune spectrum to boost next gen TV.

The National Association of Broadcasters has been granted an experimental license to use spectrum from Tribune's Fox affiliate WJW Cleveland (ch. 31) to test the ATSC 3.0 next generation broadcast standard. It will team up with the Consumer Technology Association to use the channel as a "living laboratory" to help broadcasters and manufacturers prepare for the rollout of the standard.

“This is the place where broadcasters, professional equipment manufacturers, consumer technology companies and other interested parties can work together and experiment with the innovative new standard," said NAB President Gordon Smith.

“Just as we collaborated to implement a test station as we led the nation’s transition to digital and HDTV, this partnership will help us test and experiment with this flexible new standard across a variety of applications and with fixed and mobile receivers in a real-world environment,” said CTA President Gary Shapiro.

“With this test station, NAB and CTA are putting the new transmission standard through its paces to demonstrate how ATSC 3.0 technologies can deliver meaningful benefits to broadcasters and viewers alike," said Tribune Director of Engineering Operations Bill VanDuynhoven.

The FCC is planning to vote to approve the voluntary ATSC 3.0 transition framework at its Nov. 16 meeting.

The ATSC rollout will be all about sharing, with broadcasters teaming up to put ATSC 3.0 transmissions on one station in a market, and the 1.0 transmissions on another so that viewers can still receive a signal with existing sets--the ATSC 3.0 standard is not backward compatible.

NAB points out that WJW aired the first sports broadcast in ATSC 3.0, the second game of the 2016 World Series.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.