What is Next Generation TV?
The next generation of broadcast television technology is right around the corner. With Next Gen TV, also known as ATSC 3.0, you can expect 4K ultra high definition video quality, theater-like sound, mobile reception and innovative new features to enhance and expand your broadcast viewing experience. Next Gen TV lets local TV stations better personalize their broadcasts with information and interactive features so you can get the content and features most relevant to you. For broadcasters, this means a more compelling and interactive way to tell our stories, whether it is breaking news, live sports or your favorite drama or reality show.
This broadcast technology can also connect you to a lifeline that can warn you of an impending storm and alert you to other emergencies with targeted public warnings that are interactive and mobile.
Next Gen TV is based on Internet Protocol (IP), just like online video services, and uses web languages for interactivity, so you can expect more innovation and new services in the future, and opportunities to bring you the best combination of online and broadcast television.
When is it coming?
Before broadcasters could unleash Next Gen TV, they needed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - the agency that regulates the public airwaves - to approve the new standard.
In late 2017, the Commission voted to allow broadcasters to use the Next Gen TV standard on a voluntary basis and stations began the planning process to implement Next Gen broadcasts.
While there have been several experimental Next Gen TV stations operating over the past few years around the country, in 2020, broadcasters have committed to deploy Next Gen TV in the top markets, with further deployments rolling out in 2021, 2022 and beyond.
As broadcasters move to unleash the next generation of free broadcast television service, we need the FCC to continue to provide as much flexibility as possible to allow stations to offer the very best services for our viewers.
Will I need to buy a new TV to take advantage of Next Gen?
Not necessarily. Just as devices like Chromecast, Roku and Apple TV have emerged to bring new digital features to existing television sets, gateways and adapters will be available to unleash Next Gen TV on your existing set. But many new televisions are expected to have Next Gen built in, starting in late 2020. So, chances are your next TV purchase will include Next Gen capability.
And remember, broadcast TV is free over-the-air, so there are no monthly fees required to access Next Gen's higher quality and new features.