LG Electronics has revealed that it will be playing a key part in the upcoming ATSC 3.0 Model Market Project to take place in Phoenix. That's according to a new announcement made by the company on April 5. The project, which is led by the U.S. broadcast conglomerate Pearl TV, centers around an effort to plan and implement transmission of Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) 3.0 standards. For those who aren't aware, the new standards would effectively allow for the transmission of 4K television over-the-air and for massive improvements to the audio sent the same way. As part of its new agreement to join Model Market, LG will be the first manufacturer to provide ATSC 3.0-compatible receivers for the project. Other required technologies will be provided by unnamed professional broadcasting equipment providers.
The primary focus will be on developing services, equipment, software, and documentation, while also showing that the next-generation services don't need to oust current digital television. As many as ten TV stations in the Phoenix area, in addition to several focus groups, have signed on to test LG's receivers to accomplish those goals. By showing that the standards are workable and that they don't need to disrupt viewing for current customers, Pearl TV hopes to accelerate adoption of ATSC 3.0. Phoenix will essentially serve as a base market and an end-to-end model for how implementation should go. Others will then be able to emulate that for their own implementation of the standards, making adjustments where needed to account for any regional requirements.
If testing is successful, the ATSC 3.0 Model Market Project could go a long toward achieving just that. This change should, after all, be somewhat less painful for viewers and broadcasters than the most recent prior large scale transition. The transition from analog to digital broadcasting required broadcasters to take on substantial changes in infrastructure and viewers to buy new devices if they didn't have a newer model television. This transition moves from digital to digital and is backward compatible. So the changes most likely won't be so dramatic and television will still work for those without new hardware. It should simultaneously still bring plenty of benefit to viewers with compatible hardware. However, as exciting as that is, there are still no details about the timeframe for testing or completion.