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Samsung Moves Forward on ATSC 3.0 With Pearl TV, Sinclair

The march toward ATSC 3.0 gaining widespread application took a big step forward as the set-maker Samsung Electronics America has agreed to work with Pearl TV, a consortium of nine major station groups, and Sinclair Broadcast Group “to support the development and implementation of the ATSC 3.0 standard.”

Short for Advanced Television Systems Committee, the IP-based ATSC 3.0 lays the foundation for improved viewing features, such as ultra HD, targeted advertising, high dynamic range and portable reception.

The parties have agreed on a “Memorandum of Understanding” for the next 18 months, including technical, field and consumer testing.

“Samsung is developing truly amazing innovations in home entertainment, but for consumers in America to benefit fully from these innovations in unparalleled picture quality, wireless portability, and functionality, we need a new standard for the Next Generation of Broadcast UHD TV,” said John Godfrey, senior VP, public policy, Samsung Electronics America. “ATSC is making great progress in developing the technical standard. It is now time for the industry to step forward with technical and consumer testing and other collaboration to speed the implementation of the new standard.”

Pearl TV is a partnership between Cox Media Group, E.W. Scripps, Gannett, Graham Media Group, Hearst Television, Media General, Meredith, Schurz Communications and Raycom Media.

“The transition to a broadcast platform that is based on Internet Protocol technology opens new avenues of service for broadcasters and exciting new choices for viewers of free over-the-air television,” said Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV. “The new capabilities of ATSC 3.0 will enhance the existing consumer experience and open doors to new services from local broadcasters.”

While not part of Pearl, Sinclair, a longtime champion of ATSC 3.0, is also adding its considerable know-how to the effort. “The broadcast industry is in a unique position to usher in a new era of television,” said Mark Aitken, VP of advanced technology at Sinclair. “Sinclair has been leading the charge to ensure that broadcasters have the technological capabilities to deliver the services that consumers and our advertising partners demand. The new standard will provide a reliable IP data distribution platform, allowing us to build off of our core business, multiply the value it brings to existing partners, and open partnering opportunities in new video/data markets.”

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.