Should I stay with ATSC 1.0 or transition to ATSC 3.0 (aka NEXTGEN TV)? That question is causing sleepless nights for some broadcasters. What’s so great about ATSC 3.0, and why make the switch? It’s been touted as the new, big thing; it offers many advantages over the old standard. But it’s still an investment. Is it the right investment, right now?
In the first of a series of articles on ATSC 3.0, we look into the pitfalls of holding onto the past and the advantages of changing the channel for a clearer view of the future.
What Happens if I Don’t Move Forward?
In the early 90s, in order to keep up with emerging TV technologies (such as HD), the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) created new and improved standards (ATSC 1.0) to replace analog TV. This was a mandatory upgrade, forcing broadcast stations to implement the new standard within a given period of time. Continued evolution eventually led us to ATSC 3.0 (yes, we skipped 2.0), but this time, at least currently, this is an optional upgrade. This is causing many stations to stop and pause, before deciding to take the next steps.
Personally, I love watching westerns in B&W, but let’s face it, innovation is constant. Changes are driving this industry, and that is going to continue. As newer technologies come onto the scene, basic ATSC can’t meet your viewers’ demand for higher quality and more flexibility. They have more choices than ever before, and the fight for these eyeballs is getting tougher than ever. As advertising revenues are squeezed, this money needs to go with the viewers but also needs to be spent wisely. Additionally, as content costs increase, it will become harder and harder to make money from OTA channels.
So where do we go from here? More and more TV services are competing for a slice of this revenue pie, and those who choose not to advance will get left with an empty plate.
What Does ATSC 3.0 Offer that ATSC 1.0 Doesn’t?
First, let’s examine the benefits hidden to the viewer by looking at the technology behind these standards. ATSC 3.0 implements more of an IP model, so it allows greater compatibility with other innovations such as 5G. It also adds not just over-the-air broadcasts, but an OTT streaming component. In addition, by using newer generation codec technology we can effectively achieve more than twice as much bandwidth as ATSC 1.0. That’s huge!
That in turn leads to the secondary benefits, those that are tangible for the viewer. With NEXTGEN TV, you get sharper content — up to 4K UHD resolution and a wider color palette. And with newer consumer TV trends, you can add higher dynamic range (HDR) and enhanced audio. The technology also allows the broadcaster to offer more HD content to the viewer, which:
- is advantageous for both broadcast and broadband delivery
- offers the ability to reach a wider audience
- improves resolution and the viewing experience
Third, let’s look at the monetization benefits all the above changes can bring. NEXTGEN TV allows for personalized ads through Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI). This is great for everyone; viewers get to see more relevant content, advertisers know their ads are being viewed by interested viewers, and broadcast stations get to increase their revenue per ad. Not only that, but ATSC 3.0 creates an innovative opportunity for datacasting. The broadcaster can make some of the additional bandwidth available to others for non-video content. This could be for enhanced emergency alert messaging, educational services, software updates, or more.
Lastly, updating your system with the latest technology will help you reduce energy consumption and meet sustainability goals.
How do I Make the Move to NEXTGEN TV?
OTA is out, and OTT is in. But never fear, as the first vendor in the market to monetize ATSC 3.0 streams, Ateme has got your back.
Although the move doesn’t happen overnight, Ateme takes the stress out of the transition to NEXTGEN TV. In 2021, Ateme facilitated over half of all ATSC 3.0 deployments across North America. And today, Ateme is all about creating flexible, sustainable solutions personally tailored to you to help you move into the future.
In addition to helping you captivate your audience with superior viewing experiences, Ateme’s ATSC 3.0 solution can help you:
- attract more advertisers at better rates
- use datacasting for new revenue opportunities
- incorporate enhanced emergency alert signals
- engage viewers with remote learning, no matter the internet signal
In order to stay on the cutting edge of broadcasting, broaden revenue sources, and make your viewers happy, making the transition to NEXTGEN TV is a smart move. Want to find out more about how Ateme can help? Drop us a line or come talk to us at the 2023 NAB Show Centennial. We’d love to hear from you.