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The FCC Will Vote on The New 3.0 OTA Standard in November


The new 3.0 over the air TV (OTA) standard is rapidly approaching. With the promise of better coverage for over the air TV and 4K video, many stations have been pushing 3.0 as a way to stand out in the world of cord cutting. Now we know the standard is about to become official next month.

Today the Federal Communication Commission (FTC) announced that they will vote on the new 3.0 over the air TV standard at their November 16th, 2017 meeting. “This will open the door to a very exciting future for broadcast television in the United States,” said Advanced Television Systems Committee President Mark Richer.

This would authorize TV stations to start the move to the new OTA ATSC 3.0 transmission on a voluntary basis. There is protection though for viewers who do not want to spend the money on a new TV or upgrade their box. The FCC rule will require broadcasters who decided to upgrade to 3.0 to simulcast in 1.0 the current over the air TV standard.

That means after you local broadcaster makes the move to the new 3.0 standard you will have an additional 5 years before you would need to upgrade your TV or get a converter box. Now that starts when the move to 3.0 standard happens so we are likely looking at 6 or 7 years before TV stations start to turn off the current 1.0 standard. It seems the FCC is hoping most over the air TV subscribers will be upgrading their device before that happens.

We are already seeing new TVs with the 3.0 over the air TV standard built in as an option alongside the 1.0 tuner. So it is very likely your next TV will already support the 3.0 over the air TV standard.

Source: TVTechnology.com

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  • Michael Smith

    Hmmm. Will I still be able to use my OTA antenna?

    • The antenna is dumb you wont need to change that. Its the card in the TV that decodes the images that needs the update. Yet you get 5 years after they make the switch before they turn off the current standard.

      • Michael Smith

        Thanks for the info. Hopefully I can get a better signal with my antenna with my local FOX & CBS affiliates with the new 3.0 standard. Right now, if it is windy, rain or snow those two channels display a lot of freezing and periods of no signal. I do have my antenna positioned in a sweet spot too.

        • Sunflower

          Look up articles on how to stack or gang antennas and see if that will work for your situation.

    • Phuq_Me

      why would you need a new antenna? did you need a new on for the digital transition? No. A UHF antenna form the 1960’s would still work. though probably not as efficiently since those were made to cover channels 14-83. but otherwise there is nothing special about ATSC 3.0 that requires a new type of antenna.

  • Fred Koot

    It will years before we see Real 4k. A lot more involved than the transmission.

    • Phuq_Me

      broadcast will never do 4K. Give that dream up. At best they’ll do 1080p with HDR. A 4K stream leaves room for basically nothing else.

      • 1080p HDR is the sweet spot that all the manufactures (except Sony) are missing right now. Currently all hdr content is 4K only however Netflix has indicated it may support In future.

      • TaiPeng

        What about streaming? Digital only.

      • Scott Larson

        HEVC will compress a 4K to the bitrate of a AVC compressed HD stream.

  • Spencer Karter

    November 16 is three days before my 32nd birthday! I hope ATSC 3.0 becomes a reality! I hope we get more reception too! Here in Greenwood, SC we live about 70-97 miles from TV towers in my home DMA of Greenville, SC/Asheville, NC, about 77 miles from Columbia, SC DMA’s transmitters and etc. Make Over The Air TV Great Again! BTW, I don’t like the laws of physics thing but I hope this new ATSC 3.0 via internet gives us TV stations from Charleston, SC (one of my favorite markets in my home state) too.

    • Phuq_Me

      No such thing as ATSC 3.0 over internet. ATSC 3.0 is an OTA broadcast standard.

      • Spencer Karter

        Are you aware that ATSC 3.0 will integrate OTA and Internet? https://www.atsc.org

        • Phuq_Me

          you’re just going to confuse people. yes get people believe that Channel 2 or whomever will sell them internet from 50 miles away.

  • St Aug

    “We are already seeing new TVs with the 3.0 over the air TV standard built in as an option alongside the 1.0 tuner.” Is there a model I can look up?

    • Since Spring of this year, LG has been selling TVs with both tuners on board in South Korea in advance of the 2018 Winter Olympics. They announced at CES 2017 in January. None currently available for sale in the US. Look for units to start appearing after the Nov 16 FCC vote.

  • Vegas Steve

    All this for a potential 4k OTA? Sounds pretty crazy when most people can’t even tell a 4k from a 1080 unless you put them side by side. And even then, the differences are very subtle. I suppose HDR @ 1080 would be worthwhile.