Television stations in Washington, D.C., have collaborated to bring NextGen TV to the city.
NextGen TV uses ATSC 3.0 broadcast technology to give viewers a better picture, improved sound quality, access to internet-based content and other digital services.
Washington becomes the 37th market to go NextGen.
WHUT-TV, a PBS affiliate owned by Howard University started using ATSC 3.0 to broadcast five channels over the air featuring its own programming and programing from Sinclair Broadcast Group’s ABC affiliate WJLA-TV, NBCUniversal’s WRC-TV, Fox’s WTTG, and Tegna’s CBS affiliate WSUA TV.
Those stations will continue to broadcast their programming using the current ATSC 1.0 standard for viewers who haven’t upgraded to NextGen TV receivers.
The switchover project was developed by the stations working with the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington and Pearl TV, a coalition of broadcasters working on rolling out NextGen TV nationwide.
“Just as technology changes all around us, from our phones to our cars to our homes, NextGen TV is the technological evolution of free broadcast television,” commented Sean D. Plater, general manager, WHUR 96.3 and WHUT-TV, Howard University. “By connecting the IP and broadcast television infrastructures together, we’re able to give viewers a better and more engaging content experience. Viewers across the Washington, D.C., region will be excited to not just watch, but also lean in and be more engaged with their content.”
A virtual event commemorating the switchover is scheduled to be held at 10 a.m. ET Thursday, emceed by WUSA anchor Lesli Foster, a Howard University alumna.
“Washington, D.C., represents an important milestone in the broader rollout and shows that we’ve only just scratched the surface on the value that it brings to viewers and broadcasters,” said Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV.
NextGen TV is expected to reach 45% of U.S. households by the end of the year.■
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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.