Here It Comes: Highlights from the ATSC 3.0 Panel at NTA Conference

The National Translator Association Annual Convention took place May 9-12, 2019. Speakers touched on the topics of Next Gen TV, Interference Identification, Mitigation, Spectrums and more.

The Saturday morning session focused on the new standard of television, ATSC 3.0, with speakers Vern Fotheringham, Joel Wilhite, Perry Priestley, Lee Miller, Bob Weller and Gary Cocola. These speakers addressed the future for translators and low power stations.

“We now have a very unique, new capability with the ATSC 3.0 standard, which embraces mobility,” says Vern Fotheringham, Co-Executive Chairman of Edge Spectrum.

This concept of ATSC 3.0’s ability to enhance mobility was strong throughout the entire session as society’s demand for mobile content increases.

When speaking on the metaphorical race between technology and those who are trying to find faster and more innovative ways to use it, Joel Wilhite, Senior Systems Design Engineer at Harmonic Inc, says, “[t]he technology is coming up so fast, so quick, we can’t build things fast enough.”

As the session progressed, speakers also emphasized topics of increased speed, higher definition and the impact that ATSC 3.0 will have on the broadcasting world in general, especially within Low Power Television.

“Fortunately, for us, as LPTV and translator operators, we do not have the burden that Full-power operators have,” says Lee Miller, Executive Director of ATBA “We can instigate this tomorrow.”

Perry Priestley, CEO of Anywave Communication, went on to say “...the future is ATSC 3.0. It’s all about mobility. If we don’t target mobility then we go out of business.”

“Consumers want to watch what they want to watch, when they want to watch it,” says Bob Weller, Vice President of Spectrum Policy for National Association of Broadcasters. “...and we need, as a general matter as broadcasters, to facilitate the ability for consumers to watch what they want, when they want.”

Wilhite closed the session with this piece of advice for those in attendance. “It’s gonna happen, so here it comes.”

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FCC To Begin Accepting ATSC 3.0 Applications

WASHINGTON—The FCC will begin accepting licensing applications for Next-Gen TV service via its Licensing and Management System (LMS) on May 28.

The announcement comes following the commission’s completion of a revision to its Form 2100 and changes to LMS to deal with updates to accommodate ATSC 3.0 license applications.

The application must be filed by all full- and low-power TV stations, Class A and TV translator stations –except for licensed channel sharing stations—that intend to transmit 3.0.

Stations currently on air with 3.0 service are operating under Experimental Special Temporary Authority granted by the agency.

Read more here.

More from TV Technology.

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ATSC 3.0 Energized The Idea Of TV Receiver Chips In Mobile Devices At NAB 2019 And Beyond

As Senator Gordon Smith, CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, delivered his opening remarks, he surprised many by holding up a mobile phone fixed with an ATSC 3.0 adapter and called attention to a largely unknown chip technology that enables reception of live, over-the-air TV and radio broadcasts. Smith elaborated, “While this attachment is great, what we would really like to see is a chip built right into the phone to give consumers this technology…But to date manufacturers, Apple being one of them, refuse to enable broadcast chips in their devices. It begs the question: Why?”

Smith said that consumers would welcome new local programming without using mobile minutes, as well as access to safety and emergency services. Then he chided Apple and other big tech firms for using their powerful market position to limit consumer choice and stifle free market competition. This was a moment to remember, when the idea of putting broadcast receiver chips into mobile devices was elevated from merely a broadcaster’s wish to a national conversation.

Later at another NAB event, organized by Pearl TV, came the dramatic news that the top 40 US TV markets would have implementation of ATSC 3.0 by the end of next year. At that event, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr spoke on the benefits to safety and emergency services that would be possible if broadcast signals could be received on mobile devices. Said Carr, “These new [ATSC 3.0] features aren’t just exciting for their entertainment value. They also have the potential to vastly improve public safety—whether it’s geo-targeted and encrypted information sent directly to first responders, or multimedia AMBER alerts to provide the public with more accurate and complete information.”

Read more here.

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Asset Switch Yields Huge Profit For Carolina Operator

Eight weeks ago, RBR+TVBR told you about the transfer of a 117-watt low-power TV station serving a South Carolina marketGeorge Kimble of Kozacko Media Services was the exclusive broker.

Now, that buyer is selling a sister property — and making millions of dollars in profit compared to the September 2017 purchase price.

On March 18, it became known that WP Stations LLC is selling WHDC-LP 12 in Charleston, S.C., to Lowcountry 34 Media LLC. 

The purchase price for Lowcountry 34, led by Jeff Winemiller was $110,000.

Now, Winemiller has enough dough to bake some tasty bread on a vineyard he can buy.

He’s just sold co-owned full-power WSCG-34, licensed to Bexley, Ga., and serving South Carolina’s Lowcountry and the Savannah, Ga., market.

Read more in Radio and Television Business Report.

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ATSC Technology Group Selects Its Chairman

The senior manager of technical standards at SONY Home Entertainment & Sound Products – America has been selected to serve as Chairman of the ATSC Technology Group overseeing ATSC 3.0 Next Gen TV standards.

Taking the position with the Advanced Television Systems Committee is Luke Fay. He succeeds Madeleine Noland, who became ATSC President on Tuesday.

“As soon as the appointment of Luke Fay as ATSC Technology Group Chair was proposed, board members immediately and unanimously affirmed their support,” said 2019 ATSC Board Chairman Lynn Claudy, of the NAB. “That’s a clear reflection of Luke’s reputation as a highly competent and well- regarded leader in the ATSC community.”

Read more here.

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Dear Fellow LPTV Broadcaster and Industry Leaders,

The auction has ended and most of us are still here.  While it was not only our hope but the hope of many others that the auction would not take place . . . it did, but it did not have the devastating effect that it might have had. 

The world after the auction looks different and amazingly so has a very bright future!

What does that future look like?  Not only the amazing possibilities of ATSC 3.0 but the landscape of a nation of people who are increasingly cutting their cable cords and looking for free, over the air, broadcasting content.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that you join the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance.  Our board of directors have a combined 500+ years of experience which beginning with your membership we are going to start making more available to our members on an increasing basis.

Soon as an ATBA member, you will be eligible to start tapping into not only this brain trust through unique services available only to our members but regular news updates regarding our collective broadcast future.  We are exploring new ways to tap into information from Washington as well as important updates that will benefit you right there where you live.

The need for the ATBA has increased with the new opportunities that are becoming available for those of us who still know that the future of LPTV, Class A and Translators is bright!  Are you selling your station to local sponsors?  Are you maximizing your spectrum to the advantage that you truly can?  Are you struggling with FCC rules and regulations that you either don’t understand or can’t get explained?

The ATBA is developing a database of information to help you find the answers you need! 

In addition we are still working with the true decision makers in Washington.  Your ATBA has earned the respect and the ear of the true movers and shakers that continue to shape our collective broadcasting future.

So what can you do to get involved and begin to take advantage of these, and many other, benefits?  Join the ATBA today!  Your membership benefits will include:

  1. Members only access to hundreds of years of LPTV experience through our new “Brain Trust”
  2. Early entry to our annual NAB LPTV evening event with access to our special event guest(s)
  3. Exclusive digital content regarding real world information you need to know
  4. Eligibility for recognition for your hard work through our ATBA LPTV Awards
  5. Access to equipment manufacturers with discounts available especially for ATBA members!

To be honest you can’t afford not to be a member of the ATBA! 

We’re making it affordable because it’s a win – win!  When you join, you’re going to receive more than just the benefits listed above but also you’ll be aligning with hundreds of others who, like yourself, have a vested interest in the continued forward movement of free, over-the-air broadcasting.  It’s a win for your ATBA because we will increase our strength through numbers as we grow together.

So what’s the next step?  If you’re ready follow this link to sign up.  If you have more questions please don’t hesitate to call a member of the ATBA board of directors by calling this number (877) 214-4277.   You’ll get a rapid response!

Thanks for taking the time to read this note and for your ongoing passion for the future of communication in this great country.


The Board of Directors – The Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance