FCC Authorizes Next Generation TV Broadcast Transmission Standard

(Via FCC News)  The Federal Communications Commission today adopted new rules to let television broadcasters use the Next Generation broadcast television transmission standard, also called ATSC 3.0, on a voluntary, market-driven basis.

The Next Generation TV standard will let broadcasters provide consumers with more vivid pictures and sound, including Ultra High Definition television and superior reception, mobile viewing capabilities, advanced emergency alerts, better accessibility features, localized content, and interactive educational children’s content.

Today’s action adopts rules that will allow broadcasters the flexibility to deploy Next Generation
TV service while minimizing the impact on consumers and industry stakeholders. The upgraded technology will merge the capabilities of over-the-air broadcasting with the broadband viewing and information delivery methods of the Internet using the same 6 MHz channels presently allocated for digital television (DTV).

  • Among other things, the Report & Order:
    – Requires broadcasters that use Next Generation TV to partner with another local
    station in their market to simulcast their programming in the current DTV standard,
    called ATSC 1.0, so that viewers can continue to receive their existing broadcast
    service without having to purchase new equipment;
    – Subjects Next Gen TV signals to the public interest obligations that currently apply to
    television broadcasters; and
    – Requires broadcasters to provide advance on-air notifications to educate consumers
    about Next Generation TV service deployment and simulcasting.

Today’s ruling comes after several field tests of the technology were conducted in the Cleveland
media market. Last year, the Next Generation TV transmission standard was tested during Major
League Baseball’s 2016 World Series.

Action by the Commission November 16, 2017 by Report and Order and Further Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 17-158). Chairman Pai, Commissioners O’Rielly and Carr
approving. Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel dissenting. Chairman Pai, Commissioners
Clyburn, O’Rielly, Carr and Rosenworcel issuing separate statements.