The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved to allow broadcasters to voluntarily use the ATSC 3.0 broadcast TV standard, which improves picture quality, allows better reception on mobile phones but also gives advertisers more data about viewing habits.
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.
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).
However, current televisions cannot carry the new signal and the FCC only requires broadcasting both signals (current digital TV broadcast standard and ATSC 3.0) for five years after deploying the next-generation technology.
That means everyone will need to replace our television sets or buy new equipment.
LG, which developed core technologies behind the ATSC 3.0, applauded the FCC Adoption of the new TV standard
"This is a seminal moment for Next Gen TV," said Dr. Jong G. Kim, senior vice president at LG Electronics. "FCC approval of the flexible, extensible new ATSC 3.0 standard will unleash an innovation revolution, marrying broadband and broadcasting to deliver a range of new services for consumers," said Kim, who also serves as President of the Zenith R&D Lab.
The new standard also provides many new opportunities for advertisers, since it tells them who is watching and where. The standard uses precision broadcasting and targets emergency or weather alerts on a street-by-street basis. The system could allow broadcasters to wake up a receiver to broadcast emergency alerts. The alerts could include maps, storm tracks and evacuation routes. The standard would also let broadcasters activate a TV set that is turned off to send emergency alerts.
Many nations are considering the new standard. South Korea adopted the ATSC 3.0 standard in 2016.