The Advanced Television Systems Committee announced at CES 2018 that it has completed voting on the final iteration of the ATSC 3.0 standard, which hinges on using a blend of traditional broadcast technologies and internet connectivity to deliver next-generation TV content over the air. It essentially boils down to enhancements to transmission and reception functions implemented by connection to the internet in conjunction with connection to a traditional TV broadcast network, allowing revolutions like 4K content over the air, interactive content, and immersive, multi-source audio data. ATSC President Mark Richer made the announcement, joined by Consumer Technology Association President and CEO Gary Shapiro, as well as National Association of Broadcasters President and CEO Gordon Smith.
The group of standards and practices that comprise the ATSC 3.0 standard have been voted into place and released, which means that broadcasters, TV creators, content creators, and other associated parties can begin working on implementing the new standard. Broadcasters and industry players spoke highly of the new standard, pointing to possible use cases such as targeting specific geographical areas with disaster news or local advertising. In the United States, products and services integrating the new standard are expected to begin hitting the market in 2019, but many industry players will be participating in trials and demonstrations of the new standard this year. Naturally, some will likely advertise the new standard to consumers to build up hype for future products and services that utilize it.
In South Korea, some broadcasters have actually been using an early version of the ATSC 3.0 standard, and have thus far reported great success. With the ubiquity of internet connectivity these days, it's not a stretch to think that any household that can be served by cable-based broadcast television can also be serviced by broadband internet. With no plans to roll back the industrywide standard in site, South Korean broadcasters are planning to put ATSC 3.0 to full use in broadcasting the upcoming Winter Olympics. This will actually be a historic event, should it go as planned; it will be the first Olympics ever broadcast in 4K ultra HD resolution, and the first major worldwide event to be broadcast using the new standard.