i3 | January 03, 2020

NEXTGEN TV: The Transformation Begins

by 
Jim Harris

Television has gone through a few fundamental changes, such as the evolution from black-and-white to color in the 1960s, and the transition from analog to digital in 2009. The shift to NEXTGEN TV will change how we watch TV.

NEXTGEN TV is the industry name for ATSC 3.0, the world’s first standard for IP-centric, Ultra HD-ready TV. NEXTGEN TV will transform television as we know it. You’ll be able to get television on any device — your smartphone, laptop, tablet or TV.

You’ll have the ability to access it anywhere: your living room, at a coffee shop, in your car, on a train (at 124 miles per hour) and in the stadium watching the game and replays on your smartphone. You’ll also be able to get it anytime, since NEXTGEN TV enables on-demand services for internet-connected devices. So, traditional TV will have the flexibility we now expect from streaming services. You’ll be able to pause, resume, rewind and fast forward TV.


Delivered Any Way

With NEXTGEN TV you’ll get more programming choices than ever. It’s surprising, but antenna use in the U.S. has grown over the past nine years, from 20% in 2009 up to 31% in 2018 according to CTA market research. NEXTGEN TV will be launched by broadcasters, then delivered by cable, satellite or over the internet.

The convergence of broadcast and broadband is really 5G for television. It's the most important upgrade of TV infrastructure in the digital era.

Exceptional Quality, Personalization and Interactivity

You’ll be able to get 4K Ultra HD, in exceptional picture quality, with High Dynamic Range (HDR) — over the air. And it will come with enhanced surround sound.

You’ll watch TV in different languages with new features, like increasing the volume of dialogue relative to the background noise. Eventually, you could order the sunglasses that Lady Gaga is wearing as you watch her concert.

It also will be hyper personalized. So, if you live in California it will update you on the wildfires if they are near your house.


It’s a Platform Play

NEXTGEN TV is really a platform play, because it will allow third party developers to build apps on top of traditional programming. We can’t anticipate all the new features that NEXTGEN TV will bring. It’s like a Swiss Army knife of capabilities for television and has been designed for flexibility. NEXTGEN TVs also will allow for software and firmware upgrades for future capabilities that aren’t currently imagined.


CES 2020 Debut

We’ll see the first NEXTGEN TV sets at CES 2020. Manufacturers are expected to show the first sets which will become available later in 2020. Broadcasters will launch NEXTGEN TV in 61 markets covering 74% of U.S. households.

This is enabled by a new standard called ATSC 3.0. The standard is in fact 21 different standards that fill more than 2,000 pages. “It’s been seven years in the making,” notes John Taylor, senior vice president of LG Electronics USA who’s been intimately involved in the standard from the start. It’s been an industry-wide effort involving TV manufacturers, broadcasters, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and CTA.

The convergence of broadcast and broadband is really 5G for television. It’s the most important upgrade of TV infrastructure in the digital era and is based on internet protocol (IP).

NEXTGEN TV will enable TV on-demand, with real-time interactivity and complete user control through merged broadband and over the air services. NEXTGEN TV also will offer more streaming, choice, channels, flexibility and services.