The state of over-the-air or broadcast TV is evolving and the next phase of television is here. It’s called NextGen TV, also known as ATSC 3.0 (Advanced Television Systems Committee), and it is the next generation of television broadcasting technology. It is an upgrade from the current ATSC 1.0 standard used for over-the-air (OTA) television transmission. It has launched in many cities throughout the United States and continues to gain traction. The nice part is you can use your existing over-the-air antenna. You will need to upgrade your television or tuner to take advantage of the latest features.
What is NextGen TV?
NextGen TV has the potential to revolutionize the television viewing experience, offering improved quality, interactive features, and a more personalized approach to content delivery. It represents a significant technological advancement in television broadcasting, offering enhanced picture and sound quality, interactive and personalized features, advanced emergency alerts, hybrid broadcast-broadband capabilities, and improved reception and mobile viewing options.
NextGen TV offers several improvements and new features compared to its predecessor. Here are some key aspects:
- Enhanced Video and Audio Quality: Supports higher resolution, including 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) video, offering sharper and more detailed images. It also provides improved audio quality with immersive sound formats like Dolby Atmos.
- Interactive and Personalized Content: Enables broadcasters to deliver interactive and personalized content to viewers. This may include features such as on-demand programming, interactive advertisements, and targeted content based on viewer preferences.
- Advanced Emergency Alerts: Enhances emergency alert systems, allowing for more detailed and geo-targeted alerts. This means that viewers can receive specific alerts related to their location, such as severe weather warnings or public safety information.
- Hybrid Broadcast-Broadband Capabilities: Integrates with the internet, enabling broadcasters to combine OTA signals with broadband connectivity. This opens up possibilities for interactive applications, streaming services, and additional content delivered over the internet.
- Improved Reception and Mobile Viewing: It is designed to provide better reception and coverage, even in challenging environments. It can deliver reliable signals in areas with weak OTA reception. Moreover, NextGen TV supports mobile viewing, allowing viewers to watch content on their smartphones, tablets, or other portable devices.
- Backward Compatibility: It is designed to be backward compatible, which means that it can work alongside existing ATSC 1.0 broadcasts. This ensures that viewers with older TVs or receivers can still receive traditional OTA broadcasts while new devices can take advantage of the enhanced features.
Is NextGen TV Available in My Area?
To find out if NextGen TV is in your area go to the NextGen TV official website. Then type in your address to see what channels are broadcasted on the new format. They have rolled out to just about every major city and continue to expand. The channel list in many cities is growing day by day as network broadcast stations make the switch. RabbitEars.info also has a page with a list of US cities broadcasting in ATSC 3.0.
Should You Upgrade to NextGen TV?
This all depends on how many stations are available in your area. At this point, it is a voluntary upgrade for the broadcasting networks but many networks have made the switch and it will be the new standard in the foreseeable future. I would not rush out to buy a new TV or converter box, as broadcasters will simultaneously air all their channels in ATSC 1.0 for years to come. But if you are looking to upgrade your old television it might be worth considering. There is still a limited amount of TVs with built-in ATSC 3.0 tuners, but more and more manufacturers are making them. Look for the NextGen TV logo when buying a new TV to ensure that it is certified. The nice part of these new TVs is they can receive ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 broadcasts. So you can still watch channels in the old format.
Here is a list of some televisions that support NextGen TV.
Sony OLED 65-inch BRAVIA XR A80L Series 4K Ultra HD TV
Sony OLED 65-inch BRAVIA XR A80L Series 4K Ultra HD TV ATSC 3.0 NextGen TV
ATSC 3.0 Converter Boxes
There are only a few converter boxes being developed at the moment. As the demand grows more will become available. Here is a list of the ones currently being developed and the ones that are on the market.
- Supports ATSC 3.0, ATSC 1.0, 4K 60/30/24, 1080p/1080i/720p, HDR 10/HLG, Dolby Atmos, Dolby AC-4, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet.
- Channel Guide: Browse and search for shows and events with ZapperBox’s interactive channel guide.
- Watch shows from your local stations and national networks on your TV in 4K.
- In the Box: ZapperBox M1, remote, HDMI cable, power adapter, and ethernet cable.
ADTH NextGen TV Box
- TV Tuner: Both ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 NEXTGEN TV
- Maximum Supported Resolution: 2160p (4K)
- High Dynamic Range (HDR)
- Dolby AC-4 Audio
- DRM Support
- Wi-Fi: Dual Band 2.4G/5G 2T2R
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Remote Control Unit
- Power Adapter
Zinwell ATSC 3.0 Set Top Box ZAT-600A / ZAT-600B
- Emergency Alerting System
- ATSC 3.0 Broadcast Application Compliant
- ATSC 3.0 / 1.0 Receiving Capability
- 4K UHD Video
- Remote Learning Application
VBox ATSC 3.0 Android TV Gateway
- Quad-tuner Android TV Gateway: TV viewing and OTT streaming
- HDMI connection for ATSC 3.0 and ATSC 1.0 viewing
- ROUTE and DASH reception
- HEVC 4K & Dolby AC-4 streamed to compatible devices
- Electronic Service Guides (ESG)
- Advanced Emergency alerts, Captions, Interactive applications, & other ATSC 3.0 signaling
- Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections
- Multi-user recast to devices across the network
- Multi-room DVR to record, schedule, and access recordings
- Transcoding video resolution from 240P up to 4K UHD
- SDK provision to allow 3rd-party app developments
NextGen TV offers some great features and technology. I heard that some people that have made the switch have seen an improvement in reception and picture quality. The future of broadcast television looks promising. For most people, it is still too early for adoption. It will take some time for this new standard to be widely used. It might be worth getting started now if you like to experiment and enjoy being an early adopter of new technology.