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July 10, 2022 11:35 am  #1


A Beginner's Guide To ATSC 3.0 TV, The Successor To HDTV

There are several stations on the air in Buffalo (on the Channel 49 group) broadcasting in this new mode, but so far, not many have joined them. It means yet another upgrade no one asked for is coming to your TV - eventually. If you're curious about what 3.0 offers, this is a very rudimentary guide to the new system, which goes beyond HDTV. You'll need an antenna to see it, and you'll have to have a newer set that offers it. 

As so often happens, the U.S. is first out of the gate with this and I don't think there are any 3.0 stations testing anywhere in Canada. We are typically several years behind them - and they really aren't close to a major launch yet. But if you're planning on getting a new TV and this interests you, you might want to check and see if it can receive this latest (and only possibly greatest?) transmission standard.

ATSC 3.0: Everything You'll Need to Receive Free TV

 

July 10, 2022 4:26 pm  #2


Re: A Beginner's Guide To ATSC 3.0 TV, The Successor To HDTV

I believe if you have an older TV with ATSC 1.0 (like me) and a HD Antenna (like me) that if you don't want to upgrade your TV for the new tuner, there are a few boxes you can buy that will go in-line to convert to 3.0.  That said, the crappy LG will be getting the boot soon.

 

July 10, 2022 9:52 pm  #3


Re: A Beginner's Guide To ATSC 3.0 TV, The Successor To HDTV

It is likely wise to wait and see if this latest "new thing" actually takes off and is accepted by the public, and broadcasters.

Remember about 8 years ago, televisions with the curved screen? This was supposed to be the next big thing and enhanced HD quality with an image similar to IMAX.

The public didn't like these expensive televisions that required you to be sitting directly in the middle and in front of the screen to get the full effect. Many people apparently didn't see that much difference in the picture quality, and complained about a glare if you weren't watching directly in the middle of the curve.   This TV is still here but only available with Samsung and only two models and these are scheduled to be phased out.  

Or around 2012 HD in 3D?  The last HD 3D televisions were manufactured in 2017.  Pretty hard to sell them when almost all broadcasters stopped offering any programming in that format.   Some viewers experienced seizures, headaches and eye strain from watching 3D television and complained that the picture quality didn't look natural.

Unless 3.0 is somehow dramatically better it could be a very long time before it is accepted. and the public willing to shell out money.  HD televisions seem to have a long life and most people may not be in the market for a while, especially if they have a set that's only a few years old.     

 

July 10, 2022 10:38 pm  #4


Re: A Beginner's Guide To ATSC 3.0 TV, The Successor To HDTV

 

November 15, 2022 9:10 am  #5


Re: A Beginner's Guide To ATSC 3.0 TV, The Successor To HDTV

Speaking of ATSC 3.0, Sinclair - the owner of Buffalo's WUTV & WNYO - is going even farther down this road. And I do mean road. 

Sinclair, Hyundai Make Deal To Beam ATSC 3.0 Signals To Cars

     Thread Starter
 

November 15, 2022 12:24 pm  #6


Re: A Beginner's Guide To ATSC 3.0 TV, The Successor To HDTV

I'll reference this DAB story as a prediction of Sinclair's plan to "Beam ATSC 3.0 Signals To Cars"

from https://broadcasting-history.com/digital-audio-broadcasting-dab

"The technical launch of DAB in Canada was slow, city-by-city and, ultimately, unsuccessful. While General Motors announced in 2001 that it would include DAB receivers in a number of its new vehicles to be sold in Canada, by 2003, the company had backed off that promise. Consumer equipment was severely limited and very expensive"

 

November 15, 2022 12:35 pm  #7


Re: A Beginner's Guide To ATSC 3.0 TV, The Successor To HDTV

What I find fascinating is that DAB is now the de facto standard in many countries around Europe, with more and more of them effectively turning off the old AM & FM. Yet it failed miserably in North America, where online listening seems to be the preferred replacement to traditional radio. 

I remember the PAL vs. NTSC debate, but rarely have I seen anything this technical that's so different between one side of the pond and the other. If I went on a vacation in Europe, I can't take one of my portable radios because I wouldn't be able to receive anything. And vice versa for some European tourists here. Never thought I would see that. 

     Thread Starter
 

November 15, 2022 6:53 pm  #8


Re: A Beginner's Guide To ATSC 3.0 TV, The Successor To HDTV

There were two fatal flaws for DAB here.  One was the choice of frequency band (L-band), and the second was the dearth of receivers.
L-band has a very limited coverage area because the frequency is so high (1.5 GHz). So it would be necessary to have a very large number of transmitters to duplicate the coverage area of one Class C maximum parameter FM station. 
There were virtually no receivers in cars, and the fact that L-band is reserved for military telemetry in the United States meant that they were never going to use it for broadcasting, and hence no universally accepted car receiver designs. A NAFTA nightimare.  Radio Shack (remember them) sold a portable L-band receiver that used AA batteries, which died after about three hours of use.  The chipset available at the time was a real power hog.
In Europe, most DAB is in Band III (i.e. what we know as the upper VHF television band). They used channel E-12 in the VHF band which was available with the transition to all UHF television broadcasting.  A single band III transmitter can go a long way.  And of course the technology allows for single frequency networks.

The big problem with DAB in the UK is that, after considerable success in consumer acceptance, they decided to change the encoding standard to DAB+, which instantly obsoleted any original DAB receivers.  The transition was painful, and now there are more than 180 DAB+ stations in the UK.
The coverage is far from universal, and only limited stations are available in the south of Scotland in the rural area,

With regard to ATSC 3.0, there are a couple of attractions.  The first is the extra bit-rate available, thanks to the QAM modulation schemes.  So 4k over-the-air is a possibility. The other is mobile and portable reception.  Reception on cell phones, while quite feasible, is stymied by the cell phone manufacturers not wanting to bite the hand that feeds them, i.e. the cellular carriers.  The carriers don't want their streaming lunch eaten by broadcasters, and even though LG and Samsung were pioneers in developing ATSC M/H (an ATSC A/53- compatible mobile standard) it was never commercialized.
 

 

November 15, 2022 7:00 pm  #9


Re: A Beginner's Guide To ATSC 3.0 TV, The Successor To HDTV

Fascinating answer. Thanks!

     Thread Starter
 

November 15, 2022 7:09 pm  #10


Re: A Beginner's Guide To ATSC 3.0 TV, The Successor To HDTV

Skywave wrote:

There were two fatal flaws for DAB here.  One was the choice of frequency band (L-band), and the second was the dearth of receivers.
 

I'd add a third: lack of original content. The demand for sound/signal upgrades was minimal; a whole host of new content that couldn't 'fit' the analog band would have driven some interest.


 
 

November 15, 2022 7:21 pm  #11


Re: A Beginner's Guide To ATSC 3.0 TV, The Successor To HDTV

It's a bit different, but you could say the same for HD. A lot more of the same for the most part and there are far too many using it simply as an alternate repeater of an already available station. 

     Thread Starter
 

November 15, 2022 7:45 pm  #12


Re: A Beginner's Guide To ATSC 3.0 TV, The Successor To HDTV

DAB theoretically had time on its side vs the current HD situation. It launched at a time when satellite subscriptions weren't been given away like Argos' tickets and in-car streaming was less practical. It's too late for content to save HD.