CES 2017: LG Intros First ATSC 3.0 4KTVs

Discussion in 'Over the Air TV By RabbitEars.Info' started by comfortably_numb, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. navychop

    navychop Member of the Month - July 2014!
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    I think the push will come from broadcasters. They will co-locate and share frequencies and delivery less than they deliver today. They crank up that ATSC 3 tower at a mighty 1 W and wait out the five years. Two or three years in, they can crank up the power and start demos of what it can do. I think the TV manufacturers will be on board before then.

    And policies can change. ATSC 1 and 3 co-existence, and no mandates.
     
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  3. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    It seems to me that any push that could come from broadcasters would have to come in the form of salting both technologies the way the order is written. If they deliver less, the consumers will likely be forced into a greater dependence on non-broadcast sources where they've been able to avoid doing so thus far. Broadcast can't afford to throw those customers away. This could be especially damaging if pay TV says "maybe later" to the new revenue generating aspects of the technology.

    If people want to show their overwhelming support, they need to start with the FCC and try to get the Order modified or replaced. The problem with this approach is that their current "light touch" policy doesn't seem to lend itself to such mandates. It doesn't help that the Next-Gen proponents don't want a mandate either.
     
  4. dhett

    dhett SatelliteGuys Family

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    I believe that Next-Gen succeeds if it can demonstrate 1) that it fixes what's broken with the current ATSC standard, and 2) that it provides additional services that viewers want.

    I think the #1 pain point with the current ATSC standard is its susceptibility to interference, which kills a digital TV signal. Viewers are shut out of OTA because of terrain or tall buildings either blocking the signal or reflecting it, causing multipath issues. Some broadcasters tried to address signal blockage using a distributed television system, or DTS, but that has failed miserably due to signal overlap again causing multipath issues. VHF is a challenge for DTV due to noise interference from home electronics, appliances, CFL and LED light bulbs, etc. Low-VHF is near-useless. Viewers have largely abandoned large outdoor antennas for compact indoor antennas for a variety of reasons, mostly aesthetic, but that brings home construction into the mix, with radiant barriers and chicken wire that forms the basis for stucco construction adding another source of interference. The FCC didn't help either by reducing the size of the TV band, meaning co-channel stations are located closer together than before, especially in the eastern half of the country. Mobile viewing is all but dead - the current ATSC signal isn't robust enough for use inside a moving vehicle.

    If Next-Gen solves most of these issues, I give it a chance. A more robust signal with better error correction is one of its promises, and that will go a long way toward its success. I still think that low-VHF is a bust, due to the public's disaffection with large outdoor antennas, and I'm not sure mobile TV can be resurrected, but ending the issues with multipath will be key.

    As for additional services, over-the-top, or OTT, is the big promise. Next-Gen is an internet-based standard and if broadcasters can seemlessly marry the base broadcast signal with an enhanced OTT experience, it might provide the sizzle needed to generate buzz in the general public. However, that will also require the broadcasters to avoid the temptation to data mine the snot out of the internet connectivity. Any hint of "big brother" will drive the public away from OTT. I know that proponents are trying to sell the advantages of 4K, but I don't see it happening. I'm told that a screen size of 65" or more is needed to really see the difference. Some are predicting no more than 2K. Additional subchannels might lure others in. Whether 4K or additional subchannels, those won't really come into play until each station is broadcasting exclusively in Next-Gen.

    Phoenix should be a good test market in 2018. OTA viewership exceeds 20% here, due in part to large OTA viewership among the market's Hispanic population and the fact that both of the full-power Spanish-language stations are participating. Homeowner associations (HOAs) are present in the overwhelming majority of neighborhoods here, which discourages outdoor antennas, and stucco construction is predominant, providing a challenge to indoor antennas. Only two of the ten stations will need to change frequencies in the repack, and those will be completed by November 30, as both are in Phase 1. The broadcasters here have a good relationship with the cable companies (primarily Cox) so that will help.

    Can Next-Gen succeed? I hope so, but there's no guarantee. Viewer experience must improve and broadcasters must be able to monetize the improvements. Otherwise, it's 3-D TV all over again.
     
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  5. Voyager6

    Voyager6 Just lost in space
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    Again, how will the benefits of ATSC 3.0 be demonstrated in an actual TV market when no one in that market has an ATSC 3.0 receiver? How many consumers in the Phoenix TV market actually have a 4K capable set? Those consumers have shelled out big bucks to purchase a 4K capable set and will not be able to view any ATSC 3.0 channels without purchasing additional hardware (when it becomes available) They can already view HD and 4K material through various sources that they are already paying for and from OTA. What would compel them to pay even more to purchase an ATSC 3.0 receiver just to view OTA channels? How would it be an upgrade over what they are already receiving? I don't see this working without forcing OTA consumers to upgrade by government mandate.
     
  6. navychop

    navychop Member of the Month - July 2014!
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    IF TV manufacturers start including ATSC 3 tuners in their sets by 2019, then the problem will become invisible to an ever increasing number of viewers. And since most people use cable or satellite exclusively, or nearly so, this isn’t a problem for most people anyway.

    Now- what could induce manufacturers to include an extra cost item that will be unused by most customers, and by almost nobody the first couple of years in any event? Well, they (mostly) include ATSC 1 tuners that mostly go unused. Can/will chipset makers pump out combined ATSC 1 and 3 tuners at only a small cost delta?

    Too many things just don’t look right. I suspect that there’s something we don’t know, some incentive to support ATSC 3 that we don’t know about.

    Was the shying away from a mandate the only way to get ATSC 3 approved? If so, I’d expect a move soon to “reconsider” and get a mandate moving.
     
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  7. comfortably_numb

    comfortably_numb Topic Starter SatelliteGuys Pro

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    Only if it’s the broadcasters that lobby for such a mandate...
     
  8. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    No amount of documentation or fantastic claims can overcome Physics. You can mitigate some of the effects with more error correction but the fact that the video compression scheme is even more dependent on previous frames may reverse any gains. Much of the beef surrounding DTV is related to the delta animation problem with MPEG2 but MPEG2 typically offers more frequent keyframes than HEVC to get everything back on track.
    Nonetheless, that is the environment in which ATSC 3.0 must be employed. They can't so easily talk their way out of it in the larger markets (or the clusters of smaller markets).
    Yet pay TV can do that without any new technology and if you're going to have to go OTT to get it why not start with OTT (or the medium over which your OTT travels) where it will likely be even more seamless.

    I haven't been on cable for many years but on satellite, they've been doing linked ads for quite a while now. An advantage there is the DBS ads typically don't require broadband.
     
  9. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    The "proponents" have been adamant that a mandate isn't necessary and they've been quite vocal against having a mandate. I think they're on dope.

    What we don't know much about are the many broadcasters that aren't proponents and that could have a big impact on who gets what and how long a transition might be dragged out.
     
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  10. danristheman

    danristheman SatelliteGuys Pro

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    I have a question here i know it might sound stupid but here it goes. Would be a good idea for them to put uhf tv transmitter on cell phone towers added to the celluar transmitters. For example put a uhf transmitter broadcasting on digital 31 low power output so it covers just a few miles instead of 40 miles. Use fiber from the tv stations to the cell tower then transmit?
     
  11. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    They're supposed to be experimenting with that in Portland, Oregon. They've got four channels that are all between 7kW and 15kW. Portland also features some fairly challenging topography.

    The seeming fail here is that the Portland market covers probably upwards of 40,000 square miles. I suppose they could cover it both ways, but what do you do about those people on the boundaries between cellular coverage and conventional coverage?
     
  12. danristheman

    danristheman SatelliteGuys Pro

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    Its a better idea than one transmitter at low vhf or hi vhf.
     
  13. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    In large markets (or large clusters), it doesn't matter as no channels can be written off. They can jockey around but they still have to cover their areas and that might mean that they have to put ATSC 3.0 lower in the spectrum (the proponents claim its propagation properties are superior!) if DTV doesn't do well down there (though this may be and old wive's tale).
     
  14. danristheman

    danristheman SatelliteGuys Pro

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    I thought with DTV that is more directional than bouncing off the atomsphere. I live 40 miles north of fort wayne that market is not changing to vhf it will stay uhf.
     
  15. dhett

    dhett SatelliteGuys Family

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    I have yet to read any physics-defying claims. Please elaborate.

    The video compression scheme isn't what makes Next-Gen better at handling interference. It's the modulation method - OFDM vs 8VSB. OFDM has been proven over and over again to provide superior multipath handling and is preferred in single frequency networks and mobile usage. It is the standard used in Europe. That's a fact, not an empty claim.

    Having said that, what can prove troublesome for OFDM is that it requires higher power levels to cover the same area as 8VSB. That was one of the primary reasons why the US chose 8VSB in the first place - it required lower power levels to achieve the same coverage as NTSC. Once Next-Gen is up and running, I expect to see broadcasters clamoring for increased power authorizations.

    What the devil are you talking about? No one is trying to talk their way out of anything. Way to set up that straw man.

    Pay TV is a fixed-base system. Broadcast TV is not. Pay TV pays for itself with subscriptions. Broadcast TV pays for itself with commercials. The OTT is the extra. We have broadcast TV now - that's where you start.
     
  16. dhett

    dhett SatelliteGuys Family

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    As I understand it, the initial testing in Phoenix will be to prove the feasibility of using a few channels to broadcast ATSC 3.0 with the rest remaining as ATSC 1.0 nightlights. I don't expect to see viable NextGen operations until OFDM-compatible tuners become readily available and integrated into TV sets. Just remember that nothing is settled here. It's a test, meaning it could pass, or it could fail.
     
  17. Jim5506

    Jim5506 SatelliteGuys Master
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    Line of sight vs one or two edge reception has nothing to do with the analog/digital or any other modulation scheme - it is all frequency dependent.

    Lower frequencies (VHF) bend over obstructions better than higher frequencies (UHF), and UHF penetrates buildings better than VHF.

    Back in my home town we could get channel 8 with an antenna on a 30 ft mast from 82 miles away - a clear analog picture.

    I haven't lived there since 2001 so I am not sure how digital performs but that station is still broadcasting on channel 8 at 40Kw. Shows 12.6 dB NM on TVfool two edge reception..
     
  18. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    The primary questionable claim has to do with reception on cell phones and tablets. One wonders if they really have the antenna technology to pull off tuning VHF through UHF. Mobile has been held up as one of the big draws of Next-Gen. There's a lot of theory without substantial evidence to support that the theory holds true under real-world television broadcast conditions across real-world terrain and through real-world weather.
    But there's also the fact that interference that does manage to make its way through does much more damage as the compression steps up. With a higher dependence on preceding frames, MPEG4 and HEVC stand to take a bigger and more prolonged beating when conditions aren't ideal.
    Those who insist that the repack isn't going to change the landscape insist that most markets won't have to visit channels in the VHF bands but for larger and clustered markets, they'll have no choice to use some VHF (perhaps even all VHF when simulcasting) and viewers are going to have to give up or supplement their precious UHF setups with some VHF gain to receive it. Then we get to find out if Next-Gen actually works better than NTSC.
    Then why must we endure just as many ads on all but a few "premium movie plexes"? Back in the day, movie channels used to play "shorts". Now they play up to 25 minutes of promos.
    OTT is never going to come from OTA. ATSC 3.0 has the ability to send data, but it is limited to a few streams and doesn't provide "extra content" without also having broadband in place. That's why you have to watch the definition of free because if you have to subscribe to something else to benefit, it isn't really "free" (as in free beer).

    That brings up the question of who ATSC 3.0 is really for. Is it for the consumers or is it for the broadcasters?

    From my perspective, until ATSC 3.0 has the elbow room to broadcast at least HDR and WCG, most of the wins to be had will be realized by the broadcaster, not the viewers. Should we be expected to step up so that they benefit now and might offer something more exciting down the road?
     
  19. navychop

    navychop Member of the Month - July 2014!
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    I believe HEVC will produce GREAT HD for 3 or 4 programs. Now add a bunch of sub channels, and MAYBE a UHD program, and how do YOU think it will all look? How far do you think broadcasters will push it?

    Guaranteed to drive the “picky” to higher PQ OTT. Until they cheapen out too.
     
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  20. jayn_j

    jayn_j Press On Regardless
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    Broadcasters have always chosen content over quality for the simple reason that you can sell commercial airtime on subchannels, but higher quality doesn't get you a red nickel.
     
  21. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    From what I've read, UHD channels may consume an entire channel frequency.
     
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