Really? Any "ATSC 3.0" had better have a backwards compatible mode for at least one video stream. Broadcasters should be able to continue to transmit at least one NTSC SD quality video stream in a mode that existing receivers understand, then inform viewers that if they want the HD version, or the other multiplexes, or mobile/handheld, then they need to upgrade to an "ATSC 3.0" receiver/TV. But their existing Government Cheese boxes and Tuner Mandated LCD TVs had better continue to work under this new system.
Heck, the logistics alone of attempting to switch over to an incompatible system with the now smaller television band means that there is no room for a period of simulcasting. This also demands an at least partially compatible system.
ATSC 3.0 is anticipated to be a series of voluntary technical standards and recommended practices for the next digital terrestrial television broadcast system. The result is intended to "serve viewers and TV stations for decades to come," ATSC said.
"ATSC 3.0 is a crucial long-term project that paves the way for futuristic terrestrial television broadcasting technologies," ATSC President Mark Richer said. "As we look to the horizon, the ATSC will be exploring technologies that perhaps haven't even been invented yet."
Because ATSC 3.0 is likely to be incompatible with current broadcast systems, it must provide improvements in performance, functionality and efficiency significant enough to warrant implementation of a non-backwards-compatible system, Richer said. Interoperability with production systems and non-broadcast distribution systems should be considered by the new technology group, he explained.
"The future of broadcast television is bright, both for the near- and long-term," said Richer, referring to current work on ATSC 2.0, which includes Internet-enhanced broadcasting and non-real-time (NRT) and 3D broadcast standards, as well as ongoing support for the ATSC Mobile DTV standard. (See "ATSC To Develop 3DTV Standards for Broadcast.")
Formation of the new ATSC 3.0 Technology Group, called "TG3," will allow the ATSC Technology & Standards Group (now called "TG1"), chaired by Dr. Richard Chernock of Triveni Digital, to accelerate its current activities including development of ATSC 2.0, NRT, 3D and Mobile DTV. TG3 was recommended by the ATSC Board of Directors in July and adopted by the membership on Sept 2.
ATSC Board Chairman, Samsung Vice President John Godfrey, has appointed James Kutzner as TG3 Chairman. Kutzner, senior director of Advanced Technology for the Public Broadcasting Service, chaired the ATSC 3.0 Planning Team for the past year. At PBS, Kutzner manages engineering and technology projects. An ATSC board member, SMPTE fellow and IEEE member, he also is vice chairman of the Open Mobile Video Coalition's Technical Advisory Group.
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