Expect Next Gen TV in Top 40 Television Markets This Year

Consumers can expect to watch broadcast TV with a stunning 4K HDR picture and high-quality audio for free with an antenna in top television markets this year

Consumers can expect to watch broadcast TV with a stunning 4K HDR picture and high-quality audio for free with an antenna in top television markets this year. According to an announcement from president and CEO Gordon H. Smith at the National Association of Broadcasters meeting this week, ATSC 3.0 is cleared to launch. The upgraded TV signal travels through obstacles better than ever before, so homeowners can expect better reception with less-powerful antennas. The technology upgrade also supports receiving TV signals on handheld devices and in moving cars, personalization of ads, and interactive capabilities like x-ray, but stations will decide whether to flip the switch on these optional features.

What is the timeline?

The 40 largest TV markets will deploy the new broadcast standard beginning this year and complete the rollout to tens of millions of viewers by the end of 2020. Extensive testing has already taken place in Phoenix, Dallas, Baltimore, Raleigh, East Lansing, and Santa Barbara. Specific stations are identified in 19 markets, but since the transition is voluntary, the remaining markets haven’t identified which stations will take the lead.

Why is this a big deal?

The new standard brings broadband functionality to broadcast TV, which gives audiences the best features available in entertainment all on free over-the-air TV. A popular selling point is the hyper-local lifesaving alert functions that give first responders more options to keep viewers informed in an emergency. The connection also enables custom weather alerts and updates on active news stories. Broadcasters look forward to the advertising capabilities afforded by the new standard.

How will I know if my station offers it?

Subject to final approval and licensing, these high population markets have identified specific stations.

| Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
Houston, TX
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA
Phoenix, AZ
Seattle-Tacoma, WA
Detroit, MI
Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL
Portland, OR
Pittsburgh, PA | Raleigh-Durham, NC
Baltimore, MD
Nashville, TN
Salt Lake City, UT
San Antonio, TX
Kansas City, KS-MO
Columbus, OH
West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL
Las Vegas, NV
Austin, TX |

Remain patient

The new broadcast standard for over-the-air TV is part of the country’s shift toward better, faster connectivity. Much like 5G technology is expected to revolutionize wireless connections, broadcasters are excited for this innovative technology to modernize over-the-air TV.

Although televisions and handheld devices that take advantage of the new signal are not yet widely available, expect to see product announcements later this year. CES 2020 will likely feature a whole host of newly enabled televisions and devices capable of handling the signals, but don’t be in a rush to upgrade. The FCC requires all stations to broadcast in both formats for years after the new technology is available. By the time the new broadcast standard is mandatory, you might want a completely different setup than the one you have today.

Megan Southard


Article Author

Megan Southard is a writer, mom, technology enthusiast, and movie junkie. She dreads the day her kids have to explain gadgets to her and is old enough to say, "I was the remote for our TV growing up.

Disclaimer: This article may have had additional images, links or data that was added by this site's editor.

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