A Smart IP Upgrade For OTA Television Broadcasting
ATSC 3.0 to be launched in the US, along with the next gen 5G over-the-air (OTA) broadcast standard, is set to revolutionize the digital television broadcasting. With 4K UHD content and advanced features to enable smart and interactive television viewing, ATSC 3.0 will bring in several cutting-edge services and experiences. ATSC 3.0 is already being voluntarily deployed and tested by a few broadcasters from the US.
With continued technological advancements and interactive digital media gaining prominence, it is
high time television broadcasting companies adopted the Next Gen smart TV features with Internet
Protocol (IP) based platform in addition to satellite based OTA transmission. Thus comes the ATSC 3.0,
that is targeted to provide a unified framework enabling interactive multi-touch-point streaming, high
efficiency video coding, personalized viewing, audio and video quality enhancement, separate
internet-enabled content layers and many more features that will bring a revolutionary change in
television industry and further improve the quality of life as well.
What Is ATSC 3.0 And How Did It Evolve To The Current Status?
ATSC is Advanced Television Systems Committee, an international non-profit that consists of
broadcasters, regulators, experts, electronics manufacturers, and media agencies. It lays standards for
digital television transmission over the terrestrial, cable and satellite networks. An advancement over
the quarter century old analog NTSC standard, ATSC 1.0 was adopted as broadcast digital TV in early
There was a generic upgrade of existing standards with ATSC 2.0 which was about to be rolled-out, but
was eclipsed even before its launch by the revolutionary ATSC 3.0. This ATSC 2.0 was simply an
upgrade being backward compatible with ATSC 1.0.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorized permissive use of ‘Next Generation’ Broadcast
TV standard in 2017, on a voluntary and market-driven basis, alongside ATSC 1.0 to continue for the
next 5 years. Thus paving the way ahead for broadcasters and marketers, to partner with software
service providers bringing cloudified technological offerings, to spearhead the revolution on a
profitable and value-added path.
ATSC 3.0 Features And Benefits
High efficiency video coding - It brings “H.265” HEVC codec, that will broadcast more video data
while using fewer bits
- Internet-enabled broadcasting - To unify broadband and broadcasting, eventually making the
experience of internet based television, a wholesome one
- Spectrum efficiency - ATSC 3.0 will deliver more bits/ Hz, also supporting flexible bit rates
- 4K UHD TV or even 8K resolution - That is, it can support ultra-high definition resolutions (UHD) of
3840 x 2160 at 60 frames per second or even up to 120 frames per second
- Web-enabled interactive features - That will enable personalized viewing based on the viewer
interest and behavior
- Return data path - This will enable the station to know what and when the user is watching, thus
enabling targeted advertising just like Google and Facebook show currently, as seen on mobile devices
- Free and robust second screen experience - TV viewing across devices for free, with just the tuner
addition to keep the television handsets current
- Existing television will be enabled with tuner - An external tuner may be needed and this will
enable the existing ATSC 1.0 TV set to broadcast the new age TV for at least the agreed 5 years’
voluntary timeline, approved by the FCC
- Improved reception and variety of channels for the viewers
- Live video and text update streaming along with escape route maps for emergency.
Difference Between Various ATSC Standards
||Supports flexible bit
||Single bit rate
(19.4 mbps only)
||UHD and HD
||HDTV and SD
thus more bits/ Hz
||Less bits/ Hz
||Less bits/ HZ
video coding with
real time and
||Real time media
Downsides Of ATSC 3.0; As Perceived
ATSC 3.0 is not backward compatible with ATSC 1.0, thus an external tuner will be required, but it
may not be very expensive
Privacy of the user in terms, advertisements will be targeted based on what user sees online, but it
should not bother that much, as this is already what a user sees on Google and Facebook.
The Road Ahead - Future Of Digital Television Broadcasting In The US
Despite the road-blocks, apparent in terms transition from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0, the future holds
immense changes in the way television viewing will be experienced. The industry sentiments and
customer apprehensions would take years before this transformation takes shape. Media companies,
researchers, and broadcasters are already aligned with the FCC approval for voluntary and
market-driven adoption of ATSC 3.0. But, the extra cost for the tuner may be a perceived downside.
Also, the existing TV sets becoming obsolete, is the much debated aspect in the current scenario. But
with 5G TV concurrent to the ATSC 3.0 roll-out, digital television industry is set to grow by leaps and
As the new age TV will enable Internet based and personalized advertisements, that will make data an
extremely competitive aspect, probably the game changer for advertisers and marketing agencies.
These will also enable a more personalized and personal experience for viewers. The watermarking
system that would come along, will help resolve the piracy problem to a great deal. Thus taking new
age television revolution from strength to strength, enabling high quality content to draw larger
audience. The consumption of content will be through multiple touch point systems, thus digitizing the
viewer experience even further. With localized content streaming, specific to the user preferences,
more and more value added services will bring quality of life changes to the end users. The successful
broadcaster will be the one that innovates the content, distributes it in a more engaging way, and
accomplishes commercial tie-ups that increase value for the viewer. Therefore, it is high time
broadcasters align with cloud based software services providers and spearhead the digital television
revolution on a progressive path.
This is the most interesting time for television broadcasting industry and who knows personalized TV
channels like Netflix and Hulu may station as over-the-air broadcast channels allowing super-quick
streaming from local TV stations.
GAIATV 3.0 is a leading media technology platform company, catering to all aspects of content
distribution value chain by performing standard tasks including content capture, DRM, asset
management, content distribution, content streaming, and STB solution. With GAIATV 3.0, it offers
cutting-edge value added services and most profitable marketplace interfaces for broadcasters, to
jumpstart their ATSC 3.0 journey with valuable prepositions for all stakeholders.
We bring the most advanced services and features for broadcasters, to ensure smooth and profitable
on-boarding experience when it comes to ATSC 3.0. GAIATV 3.0 offers a platform suite comprising 10
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The Road Ahead