Trying to solve a chicken-or-egg conundrum, Pearl TV, the coalition of TV broadcasters transitioning to NextGen TV (ATSC 3.0) and global electronics chip maker MediaTek have teamed up to accelerate the implementation of tuners by more brands of smart TVs and associated devices.

A new FastTrack program will utilize MediaTek’s Reference Platform to help TV makers introduce NextGen TV products in a faster, easier and more cost-effective manner.

The Reference Platform will be pre-certified for compliance with the Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA) NextGen TV logo requirements, A3SA Security and the RUN3TV Application platform—ensuring that manufacturers are meeting the highest standards around authenticity and security, the partners announced.

Over-the-air NextGen TV stations are now available or coming soon in almost 60 markets around the country, covering more than half of the country.

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NexGen TV is expected to reach 82% of viewers in the US by the end of 2022, the companies said.

Citing research from Magid, the partners said 85% of viewers without a NexGen TV are likely to purchase one in the next year. NextGen TV sales in the first three years of availability has outpaced sales of the DVD player over the same period.

NextGen TV sales are projected to double this year, and increase by 75% in 2023, and then grow again by 100% in 2024, according to the CTA.

There are currently 70 NextGen TV-ready models available at retail, at a starting price point between $500 and $600, from Sony, Samsung, and LG.

Hisense is scheduled to bring its first NextGen TV models to market later this year.

“The FastTrack program comes to the market at an opportune time for consumer electronics manufacturers looking to invest in cutting edge broadcast technology and better serve their customers with unrivalled visual and audio features,” commented Alfred Chan, vice president, TV Business Unit in the Smart Home Group at MediaTek. “Consumers want TVs to come with NextGen TV capabilities and they want to be part of the future of television. NextGen TV represents a new realm of possibilities for television and device manufacturers, and we’re thrilled that this collaboration helps open the door for brands that want to have a seat at the table.”

“The trajectory of NextGen TV hasn’t slowed down and now our expanded collaboration with MediaTek only bolsters the path toward ubiquitous inclusion and adoption,” said Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV. “We’re excited that together with MediaTek, we can usher in high-volume, low-cost televisions that consumers desire and are buying today, particularly among millennials.

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By Greg Tarr

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