ATSC 3.0 standard undergoes field testing

DetailsEditor | 11 July 2015

US regulator the FCC has granted an experimental broadcast licence to field test the ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard.

LG, GatesAir and Zenith, who are among those behind the standard, say that with the new standard TV broadcasters will reach even more viewers with improved, robust, digital over-the-air signals. In the test Tribune Broadcasting’s WJW-TV is providing a TV transmitter, tower and 6-MHz channel for the ATSC 3.0-related field testing in Cleveland conducted since mid-May by LG Electronics, its Zenith R&D Lab, and GatesAir. The real-world field tests are said to represent an important milestone in the collaborative effort by the partners to develop core technologies behind the new standard developed by the Advanced Television Systems Committee.

Indeed the three expect that their ‘innovations’ will be used in the majority of the baseline physical layer transmission system, which is moving toward ATSC Candidate Standard status this summer.

In the current test in Cleveland viewers visited a number of locations, witnessing how a more robust TV system will see use in attracting mobile viewers, connecting viewers with Internet content, reaching those in difficult reception locations. Moreover it is being developed with 4KTV/UltraHD in mind.

“We’re pleased to play an integral role in the future of TV broadcast technology, putting an unused transmitter and vacant channel to use so that the proposed transmission system could be tested throughout the day and night. These initial field test results show that ATSC 3.0 technologies are real and can deliver real benefits to broadcasters and viewers alike,” said John Cifani, chief engineer of WJW-TV, the local Fox affiliate.

LG, GatesAir and Zenith say the key benefits of their ATSC 3.0 technologies being field tested include data throughput increases of 30% and improved multipath performance, compared with the current DTV standard for fixed and portable TV reception; enhanced indoor TV signal penetration for mobile reception thanks to flexible system parameter choices; advanced modes for delivery of very high data rates and very robust transmission capabilities.

Commented Skott Ahn, President and Chief Technology Officer, LG Electronics: “Our technology is designed to fully meet broadcaster requirements for ATSC 3.0 and advance the goal of moving rapidly to next-generation broadcasting. Whether watching from deep inside a building or along the Lake Erie lakefront, field test results show that our ATSC 3.0-enabling technology performs exactly as expected. This means that broadcasters can look forward with confidence to reaching even more viewers with traditional television, with new Internet-based content, and with new money-making interactive services and advertising capabilities.”