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NextGen TV HDR Broadcasts Now Reach 70M+ Homes

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By George Winslow

After several years of rolling out NextGen TV, aka ATSC 3.0 broadcasts to more than 75 per cent of American homes, stations are increasingly adding new features to those services with new interactive features and greatly improved quality for video and audio.

The Pearl TV consortium of major US broadcast station groups is now reporting that since the NAB Show in April, the number of broadcasters using NextGen TV broadcasts to deliver high dynamic range (HDR) video has jumped and that HDR is now available in 57 TV markets covering more than 70 million homes.

In addition a large group of stations has begun offering interactive capabilities with the flexible RUN3TV broadcast web platform.

“High Dynamic Range is now a reality in 57 TV markets, with HDR now available to more than 70 million viewers across the country,” said managing director of Pearl TV, a consortium of TV station groups that has overseen many of the voluntary market launches of the new NextGen TV technology Anne Schelle.   “Since the first local broadcast of a high-stakes sports event with the Kentucky Derby last month, even more NextGen TV stations have upgraded to offer High Dynamic Range.  Louisville viewers got an eyeful and an earful with the rich pageantry of the Derby that brought Dolby Vision High Dynamic Range and the Dolby Atmos audio system to those watching WAVE-TV at home.  Viewership of NextGen TV at WAVE doubled during Derby week, and we expect improved picture and sound to drive similar interest in future sporting events.  That’s why HDR, in all its flavors, is so very important to viewers and to stations,”

Pearl has started promoting the benefits of HDR to consumers, through both explanatory sections of the WatchNextGenTV.com website and also with in-market TV promotion where broadcasts have started with enhanced services. 

RUN3TV, the interactive broadcast application platform, is also winning supporters.  Sinclair Broadcast Group recently added more than 60 station apps to the RUN3TV platform with the added ability to provide enhanced emergency alerting, as the broadcast app platform works toward deployment in some 200 stations by year end.

Pearl TV reported that for broadcasters, RUN3TV is a game-changer, making it easy to integrate essential and advanced features across various platforms, while also allowing for the customization of unique services and content. This platform enhances broadcasters’ ability to gather detailed viewership data, offering insights that help tailor content directly to viewer preferences. With RUN3TV, broadcasters can provide seamless access to applications like ”start over” functionality and advanced emergency alerts.  RUN3TV also significantly improves content discovery and viewer engagement.

Built on the RUN3TV broadcast application platform, NBCUniversal is now delivering enhanced digital features on its NBC- and Telemundo-owned stations across the nation currently broadcasting in ATSC 3.0. The personalized and customizable experiences include hyper-local weather data, content features such as programme restart, as well as access to on-demand clips, full episodes, and alternate programming, and integrated public safety alerts. The innovation, which launched April 15, takes advantage of one of the key benefits of NextGen TV – the ability to marry linear broadcast service with broadband connections.  The application launches automatically when a viewer tunes to the NBC or Telemundo station, and was created in partnership with Fincons, Ease Live (an Evertz company), and RUN3TV.

More NextGen TV products are also becoming available. In the runup to annual meeting of the Advanced Television Systems Committee in Washington, D.C. on June 13 and 14, TCL has started shipping its first TV products enabled with NextGen TV reception.  TCL’s NextGen TV  lineup joins four other manufacturers of TV receivers expected to sell millions of NextGen TV sets this year. By year end, five affordable upgrade accessory devices are expected to be available, adding even more units to expected sales of NextGen TV products.

“Each day, consumers are buying and unpacking more than 12,000 NextGen TV products – from accessory devices to NextGen TV sets, plus accessory add-ons like new TV antenna options.  The addition of better quality pictures and sound and interactive applications ushers in a new era for local stations, all powered by ATSC 3.0 and NextGen TV,” Schelle said.

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