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.
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