Next Gen TV Blog WideOrbit

January 6, 2020

Are You Ready for Next Gen TV?

Even though 4K and Smart TVs are everywhere, and becoming more affordable every day, they’re already a hair’s breadth away from obsolescence. Why? Because they lack the receiver chip and additional circuitry required to support Next Gen TV (ATSC 3.0).

Set to launch in 61 markets in 2020, Next Gen TV is the future of over-the-air (OTA) TV, offering enhanced viewing experiences that consumers will find extremely appealing. With Samsung’s announcement that its 2020 QLED 8K TVs will include ATSC 3.0 tuners,  the first sets are anticipated to roll out later this year.

There might be some initial consumer resistance due to sticker shock, but the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) anticipates the availability of affordable adapters to allow viewers to access ATSC 3.0 TV on their existing sets. And as broadcasters begin providing more of the high-quality content the technology can deliver, adoption will likely increase, driving a corresponding drop in price – just as it did with 4K and Smart TVs.

The good news for broadcasters is that the huge appeal of Next Gen TV for consumers has the potential to translate into massive revenue opportunities. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits for both consumers and broadcasters.

Consumers Benefit with Next Gen TV:

Next Gen TV promises to provide the same 4K video resolution and improved sound quality viewers have become used to with cable, only without the cable. And just like current over-the-air TV, the base price to viewers will remain free, aside from the up-front cost of the hardware needed to decode the signal. (There has been some speculation that the industry might segregate Next Gen TV content during the transition and up-charge consumers to access the enhanced programming.)

ATSC 3.0 also supports broadband connectivity that will allow for interactive features, like selectable menus that provide access to local news and weather updates, personalized content recommendations based on viewing behavior, or to locally generated on-demand content. And that content can be broadcast to more than just TVs – i.e. smartphones, tablets, cars – allowing over-the-air TV to reach any viewer, anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

That broadband connectivity also opens the door for traditional TV broadcasters to add their own streaming and on-demand services, in addition to the ability to pause, rewind, and resume live TV, features traditionally reserved for subscription and cable services.

Broadcasters Reap the Rewards:

The big Next Gen TV news for broadcasters is the potential for addressable advertising. Broadband connectivity allows for a dedicated return channel, providing a direct source of data back to the broadcaster. And that data can then be used to target ads based on viewing behavior and demographic information, as well as to provide local businesses with the opportunity for geo-targeted offers based on viewer location. Broadcasters will be able to offer their advertisers specific targeting to different users, on different devices, even within the same household.

Imagine a household with three TV viewers, a middle-aged parent watching a traditional set in one room, an 18-year-old daughter in another watching on a tablet, and an 11-year-old son watching on his smartphone. With ATSC 3.0, each of those viewers could be served unique, personalized menu content and ads – even if they’re all watching the same program.

That level of precisely targeted advertising has long been little more than a dream for traditional, over-the-air TV broadcasters and advertisers. But by the end of this year, it will be the reality for 61 markets, with many more to follow. And that begs the question:

Are you ready for Next Gen TV?

We’re ready here at WideOrbit. Contact us to learn more.


For press inquiries, contact media@wideorbit.com.

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