In advance of this week’s National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) 2018 Convention in Las Vegas, LG Electronics revealed that it has agreed to become a cornerstone technology partner in the ATSC 3.0 “Model Market” project in Phoenix, Az.

This model market, which is to begin testing new digital TV services soon, will serve as the first real test for the forthcoming voluntary market-by-market implementation of the next-generation digital terrestrial television broadcasting system.

ATSC 3.0 promises to deliver a host of advanced capabilities, including 4K Ultra HDTV resolution, advanced digital surround sound formats, emergency alert systems and the integration of IP technology into the broadcasting ecosystem.

As a technology partner, LG will provide receivers to play a key role in project that is being spearheaded by Pearl TV in collaboration with E.W. Scripps Company, Fox Television Stations, Meredith Local Media Group, Nexstar Media Group, TEGNA Inc., Telemundo Station Group, Univision Communications and providers of professional broadcast equipment.

In its role, LG is to be the first manufacturer to provide ATSC 3.0 receivers to be used to acquire the new digital signals as well as existing ATSC 1.0 channels.

The test is being supported by 10 TV stations in the Phoenix market to show how these next gen TV stations can be deployed without disruption to the existing digital TV services currently in use by viewers.

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Under the so-called “lighthouse” transmitter concept to be employed during the transition process, the several broadcast stations in a market will share their channel spectrum cooperatively, using one transmitter to carry all ATSC 1.0 services and the other transmitters to carry ATSC 3.0.

According to Pearl TV Executive Director Anne Schelle, the critical first phase of the Model Market project is designed to enable partners to develop services, equipment, software and documentation. LG devices will be tested by local broadcasters and consumer focus groups as the Model Market project ramps up this summer.

“The success of the Model Market will depend on the contributions of various stakeholders,” Schelle said in a statement announcing the plan. “And the collaboration between LG and Pearl leverages our significant respective resources and expertise to help facilitate the rapid conversion of the current ATSC 1.0 broadcast standard to the next-generation ATSC 3.0 standard.”

As an open test bed for all stakeholders in the ATSC 3.0 roll out, the Phoenix Model Market will confirm basic TV service parameters and performance, assess real-world TV application features and implementation requirements, test interactive and addressable advertising functionality, ensure interoperability with cable systems and assess consumer appeal for new devices and services including high dynamic range (HDR) video and immersive audio content.

Schelle said that creating an end-to-end model system will help foster industry consensus and drive ecosystem development.


By Greg Tarr


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