Thursday, April 15, 2021
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Troy Miller with NRB to be Guest on Webinar

Troy Miller will be the next guest on the ATVBA Wednesday Webinar, April 22 at 3pm Central. Troy is the CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters and will be speaking about the upcoming June convention in Dallas/Fort Worth and the role NRB plays in the broadcast space. Even if you are not a "religious broadcaster," please tune in to find out more about this organization the ATVBA aligns with in promoting the growth and strength of the LPTV and OTT industries.

Be sure to register in advance! We look forward to seeing you on the next Webinar Wednesday!

Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_fYQeO0VVTj-c_3RS6rVo5g

Got a topic or guest suggestion? Please email guest and topic suggestions to info@broadcastingalliance.org.

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Fraunhofer and Sinclair to Collaborate Towards Integrating Digital Radio Mondiale Framework into the ATSC 3.0 Digital TV Platform

Digital TV platform will integrate digital radio technology

Fraunhofer IIS, primary developer of the xHE-AAC audio codec and long-time member of the ATSC as well as the DRM Consortium, and Sinclair Broadcast Group (Nasdaq: SBGI), a diversified media company and leading provider of local sports and news in the U.S., are joining forces to bring the best possible digital radio experience based on DRM to users of the ATSC 3.0 digital TV platform.

Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) is the open ITU-endorsed radio standard and the digital successor to the classic analog AM and FM band broadcast services. It offers listeners an innovative next-generation radio experience, based on xHE-AAC – to-day’s most efficient high-quality audio codec and the latest member of the success-ful AAC family – and Journaline, the on-demand information service with hybrid interactive functionality. While xHE-AAC’s efficiency opens up the potential for additional specialized audience channels and pop-up stations, Journaline creates whole new feature applications and revenue potential for broadcasters apart from classic on-air advertisement.

The collaboration of Sinclair and Fraunhofer IIS aims at establishing the seamless transport of DRM based services with all their advanced digital radio features on the ATSC 3.0 TV platform. This allows established DRM broadcasters to create the DRM content once and then distribute it simultaneously via dedicated digital AM/FM transmissions and on the digital TV platform. Listeners can enjoy a seamless and full-featured digital radio experience across all broadcast platforms using any recep-tion device – from stand-alone radio and TV sets to mobile phones and in-car re-ceivers.

“Both the ATSC 3.0 digital TV and the DRM digital radio standards are really gaining momentum all over the world. On air in South Korea since 2017 and with the re-cently started rollout in the US, the ATSC 3.0 TV standard has proven to be a suc-cess. It also receives growing attention in more and more countries worldwide in-cluding India. The same holds true for DRM digital radio, which is adopted in a steadily growing number of countries all over the world. Bringing the rich digital radio experience of DRM to the innovative ATSC TV platform is a perfect win-win situation for users and broadcasters alike,” says Alexander Zink, Senior Business Development Manager for Broadcast Applications at Fraunhofer IIS.

Sinclair Broadcast Group and Fraunhofer IIS have identified immense potential and significant benefits for all stakeholders resulting from this tight technology integra-tion, which deploys DRM as the common digital radio solution across multiple transmission platforms. A demonstration is currently in preparation to prove the easy transmission of existing DRM based digital radio services over ATSC 3.0, and to showcase the easy integration of DRM reception on ATSC 3.0 receivers, including mobile phones.

This joint project is expected to open the door to close collaboration between the respective standard bodies, the ultimate goal being the adoption of both standards worldwide for the benefit of broadcasters and listeners alike.

Mark Aitken, SVP of Sinclair Broadcast Group and President of ONE Media 3.0 LLC, stated: “Radio is in everyone’s life on a daily basis. Bringing audio services to the ATSC 3.0 platform with its advanced interactive environment and to our ‘MarkONE’ mobile phone adds new life and opportunities to a timeless medium as well as ad-dressing ‘Direct to Mobile’ market segments easily. With the efficiency of the DRM platform’s xHE-AAC audio codec it is possible to offer hundreds of audio services to answer the needs of diverse audiences and cater for multilingual, multicultural or diverse tastes. And by combining these classic radio services with innovative radio applications such as Journaline, the needs of new market segments can be easily addressed.”

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FreeCast Chooses 3SS to Transform User Experience for Aggregated Multi-Streaming Service

Further expanding 3SS’ footprint in the Americas, FreeCast subscribers will benefit from multiple award-winning 3READY User Experience

3 Screen Solutions (3SS), leading provider of software solutions for set-top boxes (STB) and multiscreen entertainment, announces that FreeCast Inc. has selected the 3READY Product Framework to transform the user experience (UX) of its aggregated OTT multiscreen service. This deployment further expands 3SS’ growing footprint in the Americas.

Privately-owned FreeCast provides its customers with an all-OTT aggregated consumer platform called SelectTV, a disruptive offering aimed at the American market which promises “less time searching, more time watching”. Acting as a virtual operator, FreeCast brings together multiple streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and others. Key user benefits are a unified UI/UX across multiple devices, one account with unified subscription management and a single monthly bill.

FreeCast has appointed 3SS to deploy award-winning 3READY as the foundation for a new, next-gen UX unified across platforms and devices. 3READY will be integrated first to power streaming boxes and connected TV sets, followed by deployments for a wide range of popular consumer devices, ensuring that regardless of preferred viewing device, FreeCast’s customers will get the best service experience.

SelectTV is available on a wide range of OTT devices including Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV, iOS and Android mobile devices, Samsung Tizen, LG webOS connected TVs and via the web. 3SS will co-define and co-design together with FreeCast based on 3READY Design & Experience System and deliver the unified UX to cover all these devices.

Commented FreeCast CEO William Mobley: “We are excited to be working with 3SS, a widely acknowledged leader in advanced UX on a multitude of devices. We are confident that our subscribers, both existing and new, will be captivated by what is on track to be a world-class viewing experience.”

“We are very proud to be entrusted by FreeCast to deliver its next-gen UX, which aligns with our vision about the future of entertainment to create value by centralizing access to all content in one place,” said Kai-Christian Borchers, 3SS Managing Director.

About FreeCast Inc.

FreeCast is the cable-free TV platform delivering a next-generation television experience via the web through its SmartGuide technology. The company's SelectTV service aggregates all streaming media entertainment, including both free and paid content, as well as linear and on-demand video, making content from a variety of providers available through a single portal and on all devices. SelectTV is sold online, also through nationwide retailers as the centerpiece of a Streaming TV Kit for the growing masses of cord-cutting consumers, and through commercial partners in the MDU, telecom, and hospitality industries. Visit http://freecast.com and http://selecttv.com for more information.

About 3 Screen Solutions (3SS)

Since 2009, 3SS has been delivering world-class software solutions to service providers and technology innovators to bring video to any screen. 3SS is an acknowledged leader in system integration, app development, UI/UX design innovation and solution architecture. 3SS designs and engineers bespoke front end and back end platforms for major operators and broadcasters worldwide to make customer experiences easier and more personal. 3SS’ customers include major satellite, cable, IPTV, OTT and mobile TV operators, including Swisscom, Com Hem (Tele2), Allente, Proximus, TCC Uruguay, Altibox, ORS (simpliTV), Yes (STINGTV), Vodafone Kabel Deutschland, Stofa, Liberty Global (UPC, Unitymedia), SES, Eutelsat, and O2/Telefonica. Broadcast customers include ProSiebenSat.1, Joyn (ProSiebenSat.1/Discovery), SUPER RTL (TOGGO), n-tv, Blockbuster and Viacom, among others. 3ss.tv, 3ready.tv

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LPTV Group Urges FCC to Consider Datacasting to Close ‘Homework Gap’

ARK Multicasting touts benefits of broadcasts' 'one to many' advantages over unicast for remote learning

An LPTV station group has asked the FCC to consider the benefits of datacasting via over-the-air broadcasting when doling out funds for the Emergency Connectivity Fund for educational devices and connections. 

Last month, the commission issued a public notice for input on the $7 billion fund, which was part of the recently enacted nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The fund is designed to help promote and enhance broadband connectivity for rural and low-income households needing remote education services. 

READ THE FULL STORY at TV Technology

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Michael Anderson Promoted to Chief Operating Officer at Hitachi Kokusai Electric Comark

Hitachi Kokusai Electric Comark LLC (hereinafter “COMARK”), a manufacturer and supplier of DTV transmitters, encoding systems, and associated field services for over 45 years, has announced that Michael Anderson has been appointed to the position of Chief Operating Officer. In his new position as COO, Mike will be responsible for the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of COMARK and will report directly to the President and CEO, Mr. Matsuzaka Toshihiro. 

In 1981 Michael began his employment with COMARK and over the next forty years has held numerous positions including Inventory Control, Buyer, Purchasing Manager, and VP of Manufacturing & Operations. All of these years have been spent with the Hitachi-Comark organization operating under the following names: COMARK, Thomcast, Thales, Thomson Grass Valley, Thomson Broadcast and currently Hitachi Kokusai Electric Comark LLC. 

In previous years Michael participated on Common Efficiency Teams (CET) which was comprised of members of other Thales internationally based organizations (Thales International Group formerly owned COMARK). This group negotiated global contracts with a variety of suppliers that were commonly used by multiple Thales organizations. Michael was lead negotiator for electronic components as well as electro-mechanical subassemblies, while supporting other members with their activities. 

As VP of Manufacturing Michael implemented several initiatives that streamlined assembly, including reorganizing material flow on the manufacturing floor, point of use inventory, supplier led “bread man” inventory, and championed employee input into the entire process. These among others has increased efficiency and reduced overall lead-time to market.

Recently holding the title of Sr VP of Operations and Manufacturing Michael, in addition to manufacturing responsibilities, supported the President and CEO in achieving corporate revenue and profitability goals. Michael also oversaw day to day company operations, managed annual budgets, and directed departmental initiatives.     

Michael holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Western New England College, in 1991 and an MBA from Western New England College in 2000.

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