As broadcasters converge on Manhattan this week for NAB Show New York, the Phoenix Model Market partners and Pearl TV today announced several developments that will positively impact the deployment of NEXTGEN TV signals throughout the country. A second transmission facility for NEXTGEN TV broadcasts in Phoenix, AZ is planned for later this year that will power a Single Frequency Network (SFN) – the first market to have two transmission towers with a SFN configuration — once the transmission licenses are approved by the FCC and the facilities are on-air.
“We’re excited to soon add a second transmission facility for NEXTGEN TV, powered by ATSC 3.0, to the Phoenix Model Market. The E.W. Scripps Company is planning to build a NEXTGEN TV facility with KASW Television as the host station, along with Scripps-owned KNXV Television, and other stations in the Phoenix market,” said Brian Lawlor President of Local Media for Scripps.
“The KASW TV facility will provide one node (of a total of four total transmission locations) that will cover the Phoenix market with a very robust over-the-air signal using a Single Frequency Network. This new technology provides a means by which NEXTGEN TV can be transmitted on the same frequency at different locations throughout a local coverage area, thus increasing the signal strength to the viewer. The unique technology of NEXTGEN TV enables this capability for television broadcasters,” Dave Folsom, Pearl TV Lead Technical Engineer said.
Common Application Framework Shows User Experience for NEXTGEN TV
A common “application framework” will be shown publicly for the first time at NAB Show NY, with prototype TV receivers demonstrating how the user experience will likely look on various brands of consumer NEXTGEN TV sets. Phoenix Model Market and Pearl TV will be showcasing the new framework incubated in Phoenix as well as prototype NEXTGEN TV receivers in the ATSC booth at N1055 on the NAB Show NY exhibit floor.
Designed to give local broadcasters the ability to differentiate the viewing experience with their own branding and interactive features, the initial launch will feature a new interactive menu available for viewing live over-the-air TV and will feature weather updates and locally generated video-on-demand functionality.
“We know that broadcasters will want to present their own station’s identity on the NEXTGEN TV platform, just as they do today on their own websites. Additional features such as in-programming interactivity and local streaming content could also be delivered by each station, depending on their capabilities and technical roadmap,” explained Anne Schelle, Managing Director of Pearl TV.
New Resources for Broadcasters
Engineers who have worked in the Phoenix Model Market project over the past year have produced a near 100-page “Host Station Manual” that will help the dozens of stations soon to be launching in the Top 40 largest TV markets across the country.
“This comprehensive guide will be a tremendous asset to station engineers who must now maneuver the complexities of launching an ATSC 3.0 Host Station and mixing signals from various broadcasters and sources. We know that it will take a tremendous amount of cooperation to launch NEXTGEN TV services powered by ATSC 3.0 while at the same time maintaining ATSC 1.0 channels that are today watched by viewers. That’s why Pearl TV and the Phoenix Model Market partners are launching both the Host Station Manual and also an informative video that will be useful in explaining how channel sharing will be necessary,” explained Pearl TV managing director Anne Schelle. Both the Host Station Manual and the explanatory Channel Sharing video are available for free download from the “Resources” tab on either www.PhoenixNextGenTV.com or www.PearlTV.com.
About Pearl TV:
Pearl TV is a business organization of U.S. broadcast companies with a shared interest in exploring forward-looking broadcasting opportunities, including innovative ways of promoting local broadcast TV content and developing digital media and wireless platforms for the broadcast industry. Pearl’s membership, comprising more than 400 network-affiliated TV stations, includes eight of the largest broadcast companies in America: Cox Media Group, the E.W. Scripps Company, Graham Media Group, Hearst Television Inc., Meredith Local Media Group, Nexstar Media Group, Gray Television, and TEGNA, Inc.
About the Phoenix Model Market:
The Phoenix Model Market is a collaborative effort with a dozen Phoenix, Arizona TV broadcasters who are launching NEXTGEN TV service marketwide, as a model for the TV industry. Participating TV groups and stations in the Phoenix Model Market include: Arizona State University’s Arizona PBS (KAET) , Arizona Television’s KAZT Channel 7 (Independent), E.W. Scripps’ KNXV (ABC), Fox Television Stations’ KSAZ (Fox) and KUTP (MyTV), Meredith’s KPHO (CBS) and KTVK (Independent), E.W. Scripps’ KASW (CW); Telemundo Station Group’s KTAZ (Telemundo), TEGNA’s KPNX (NBC), and Univision’s KFPH-CD (UniMas) and KTVW (Univision).