ATSC 3.0 NextGen TV in a transitioning market

To understand and reap the many benefits NextGen TV will deliver, we must first understand the dynamics and challenges involved in this transitioning market.

By Anthony Smith-Chaigneau, Sr. Director Product Marketing, NAGRA

In an effort to better understand today’s ever-changing world, people are relying heavily on regional and local news during these complicated times. This demand combined with strained budgets are driving people to reconsider how and what they consume for entertainment, and in turn, their broadband connectivity choices. It is no surprise that with this evolution, combined with pay-TV remaining a costly choice for some viewers, cord-cutting is increasing exponentially.

As consumers looks for options, there is an important and emerging trend happening, marked by a notable rise in HDTV antenna sales. This transition falls in line with work being conducted by the ATSC as the organization looks to build out the ATSC 3.0 next-generation over-the-air-platform – known as NextGen TV. To understand and reap the many benefits NextGen TV will deliver, we must first understand the dynamics and challenges involved in this transitioning market.

First, there are technical hurdles to address. In times where broadband is at a premium, but airwaves flow freely to rooftops and new indoor antennas, a return path solution may not be available through a router. In this scenario, the design of ATSC 3.0 - foreseen as a two-way solution - will still ultimately need a one-way (unconnected) solution that still delivers more than just better program and audio reception. If this does not happen, it will not be possible to deliver the ‘NextGen TV’ functionality that will ultimately benefit the broadcaster and the viewers.

In addition, there is also the question of the availability of devices and hardware needed to make NextGen TV possible.  While integrated ATSC 3.0 TVs are on their way, ATSC 3.0 dongles and STBs will play an early role in enabling existing TVs to be brought into a NextGen TV environment. At the same time, there are uncontrollable unknowns.  For example, caution is required as the business market is affected by delays due to confinement and manufacturing adjustments. This impacts the manufacturing of silicon chips, TVs, and STBs, which will no doubt affect ambitious NextGen TV rollouts.

Despite these challenges, there is a strong broadcast community - including the ATSC, broadcasters and technology vendors - that have a hunger and a plan to address these issues and ensure this market transition is possible. As an active member of this community, NAGRA is playing a pivotal role in pursuing technical solutions that will benefit the NextGen TV transition. Over the many years of new market technology changes, we have seen that in-the-field market challenges often defy what the experts imagined for defined solutions.

For example, in addition to security - which is table stakes for any NextGen TV solution - NAGRA can offer broadcasters a comprehensive value-added services and customer loyalty solution. These solutions are designed to address the technical challenges of securing and unlocking content and services on non-connected, NextGen TV enabled devices, while delivering on new opportunities, such as consumer analytics, to drive revenue generation from premium content pay-per-view to personalized merchandising and loyalty offers.

This is great news for the NextGen TV transition and traction is well on its way. In Phoenix, NAGRA has been working with Pearl TV, and other technology providers on a PoC that shows how broadcasters can use premium technologies to define its active content monetization solution, simply, securely and effectively. Broadcasters can also activate protected assets and triggers to online portals for additional viewer content, as well as open of the possibility of e-commerce opportunities using any mobile device with a camera. With the right tools in place, the possibilities are virtually endless.

For more information about NextGen TV and to see the solution in action, we look forward to hearing from you. Contact us to learn more or to set up a meeting at our US headquarters in Phoenix.