On the heels of their first end-to-end 4K television broadcast using the ATSC 3.0 standard, Korean broadcasters KBS and SBS have again joined forces with LG Electronics to demonstrate real-world implementation of next-generation broadcasting. In the Korean broadcasting exhibit in the ATSC 3.0 Broadcast Pavilion at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention here this week, KBS and SBS are showing how over-the-air ATSC 3.0 will deliver 4K Ultra HD pictures with four times the resolution of conventional HD – on LG 65-inch 4K TVs equipped with the first ATSC 3.0 demodulator/tuner chips.
"Korean terrestrial broadcasters including KBS are preparing to launch the commercial UHD broadcasts with advanced services, including electronic service guides, emergency alerts and video-on-demand, by February 2017. Our collaboration with LG at the NAB Show demonstrates our unique UHD service in the U.S. for the first time," said Byeong-Ryeol Park, technology executive managing director at KBS, which has been conducting terrestrial UHD experimental broadcasts since 2012.
Korea is preparing to launch terrestrial UHD TV commercial services in early 2017.
ATSC 3.0's progress in Korea is in fact significant for the United States, according to Sam Matheny, the NAB's executive vice president and chief technology officer. "As U.S. broadcasters consider their ATSC 3.0-related business models and implementation plans, there is keen interest in South Korea and their fast-track launch of next-generation television broadcasting," he said.
Combining broadcasting and broadband, ATSC 3.0 represents the first Internet Protocol (IP) based broadcasting system. The KBS-SBS-LG demonstrations at the NAB Show include next-generation IP technologies based on the DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) streaming media format and ROUTE (Real-Time Object Delivery Over Unidirectional Transport) IP delivery protocol.
A couple of weeks ago, LG and KBS demonstrated for the first time the advantages of the DASH/ROUTE IP technologies in delivering emergency alerting and electronic service guide data in an end-to-end live terrestrial broadcast.
An end-to-end broadcast of 4K Ultra HD, conducted by SBS and LG in South Korea earlier this year, also represented a milestone. Past demonstrations simply used pre-recorded material loaded directly to a transmitter, while this test broadcast featured a live camera feed with real-time IP transmissions from the SBS network studio in Mokdong to the broadcaster's Gwanak Mountain transmitter. The IP signals transmitted over the air on SBS Channel 53 were then received using a simple antenna and decoded by a 4K Ultra HDTV ATSC 3.0 receiver developed by LG Electronics.