This Saturday will see the kick off of the Nationwide Affiliation for Broadcasters (NAB) present, a gathering of TV and radio broadcasting professionals that takes place yearly in Las Vegas, Nevada.
One scorching matter of the present this yr will undoubtedly be the progress of ATSC 3.0 digital TV broadcasting, a brand new next-gen customary that’s supported by the greatest 4K TVs within the US from manufacturers like LG, Sony, Samsung, and Hisense.
The benefits that ATSC 3.0 brings over the present ATSC 1.0 digital TV customary embrace 4K decision video with excessive dynamic vary and immersive audio codecs like Dolby Atmos.
Round 60% of households within the US are reached by at the very least one ATSC 3.0 broadcast TV station, which are actually located in additional than 70 markets. Apart from a suitable TV with an ATSC 3.0 tuner, all you must view packages broadcast within the new customary is an affordable indoor TV antenna.
However the broadcast trade might have a use for ATSC 3.0 apart from TV, and that use is radio.
Who nonetheless makes use of a radio tuner? There’s one in my automotive, sure, however like many different folks, I way back switched to streaming web radio stations through the greatest wi-fi audio system. A Sonos Transfer sits in my kitchen within the precise spot that my radio used to occupy, and after I get bored with listening to the information, I can simply swap over to podcasts or the greatest music streaming providers within the glorious Sonos management app.
However not all folks might wish to stream radio utilizing wi-fi audio system. As a substitute, they might like old style radio, even mono, thin-sounding AM stations with their innumerable speak reveals.
Radio on the TV
In a latest Radioworld interview with Mark Aitken of Sinclair Broadcast Group subsidiary ONE Media Programs, the corporate president detailed a radio-over-ATSC 3.0 supply proof-of-concept that it plans to current on the upcoming NAB present.
The presentation is linked to a brand new challenge proposal that shall be filed following NAB 2023 by Fraunhofer, the corporate behind the unique MP3 audio compression customary that in the end led to the event of the greatest MP3 gamers and paved the way in which for music and web radio streaming as effectively.
In line with Energy, Fraunhofer is looking for to have its extremely environment friendly xHE-AAC audio codec, which permits for high-quality voice transmission at a mere seven kilobits per second and stereo music at bit charges from 24 kilobits per second and up, “introduced into the ATSC for standardization.” Doing so would let ATSC 3.0 broadcast TV stations ship a package deal of native and nationwide radio providers utilizing only a small fraction of their spectrum bandwidth.
Round 50 providers was the quantity prompt within the interview, however since digital broadcast stations have the liberty to slice up their bandwidth nevertheless they need for multicasting, the quantity may doubtlessly be even larger, letting a single TV channel ship all radio stations in a given market, together with a collection of different broadcast radio choices.
As a result of ATSC 3.0 is an IP-based transmission system, the TV doesn’t should be the one outlet for tuning in radio content material carried on TV channels. With the primary TV linked to the house community, different networked gadgets all through the house may entry the programming, all the pieces from laptop computer computer systems to sensible audio system, small secondary TVs, and tablets.
ATSC 3.0 on the highway
Together with listening at residence, there are plans to introduce ATSC 3.0 tuners in vehicles – a topic that can undoubtedly be mentioned at this weekend’s NAB present. After all, an automotive ATSC 3.0 receiver would additionally have the ability to tune in TV stations for show on dashboard displays, one thing that poses particular security hazards. GPS is one other chance, however the primary use would presumably be for audio-based content material.
Radio by means of the TV spectrum, and finally in vehicles, courtesy of ATSC 3.0 could also be near actuality, however TV makers have been gradual to assist the brand new customary, reserving built-in tuners for higher-end fashions, within the case of LG and Samsung, or ignoring it altogether, within the case of TCL. Maybe the brand new developments popping out of NAB 2023 will assist to speed up ATSC 3.0 progress going into 2024, however within the meantime we’ll be searching for NAB information concerning low-cost tuner upgrades for current non-ATSC 3.0 TVs.