You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

FCC Proposes ‘Next Generation TV’ Standard

Federal regulators gave an initial green light to a proposal to dramatically upgrade broadcast TV.

On Thursday, the FCC took a step toward approving use of a new TV standard that promises over-the-air viewers will get an Ultra High Definition picture, interactivity, immersive audio, advance emergency alerts, mobile reception and other features.

The standard is dubbed Next Generation TV, or ATSC 3.0, and it has long been on the wish list of Washington’s broadcast lobby as they have watched broadband providers cast themselves as the medium of the future.

The FCC’s action, in a 3-0 vote, merely puts the proposal up for comment.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that the proposal would enable broadcast innovation.

“It’s the first transmission standard to marry the advantages of broadcasting with the internet,” he said, adding that he would like the proposal to come back for a final vote by the end of the year.

Commissioner Michael O’Rielly noted that the new standard would allow broadcasters to better compete with other platforms.

It would make 3.0 transmissions voluntary, meaning that stations will not be forced to switch to a new standard. That is what happened in 2009, when stations migrated to digital broadcasting, a massive change that in many cases compelled viewers to purchase new sets.

The proposal calls for requiring that stations that choose to deploy the Next Gen TV transmissions continue to provide their existing channels to their viewers. Cable and satellite providers would continue to be required to carry the current broadcast signals, but not the new signals.

The proposal also does not require that manufacturers install tuners to obtain the signals.

Commissioner Mignon Clyburn voted for the proposal but said that she had concerns over the transition to the new standard and whether low-income consumers will bear the cost. She also said questions remained about the impact of the new standard on smaller stations, which may not have the means to upgrade.

More Biz

  • Capitol Music Group Names Amber Grimes

    Capitol Music Group Names Amber Grimes Senior VP of Global Creative

    Amber Grimes has been named to the newly-created position of Senior Vice President of Global Creative for Capitol Music Group, it was announced today by Chairman & CEO Steve Barnett, to whom Grimes will report. According to the announcement, in her new position, Grimes will be integrally involved in formulating and executing the company’s global [...]

  • Kevin Hart

    Why Kevin Hart's Mea Culpa Was Too Little, Too Late (Opinion)

    Forgive me if this sounds trite or preachy, but the importance of owning up to our mistakes cannot be overstated. Denials, silence, cover-ups, repudiation — all are unacceptable. Media outlets around the globe, including ours, wrote about how Kevin Hart initially took no responsibility for having posted disgusting homophobic tweets years ago that resurfaced when [...]

  • Annie Lennox, Chrissie Hynde, Industry Execs

    Annie Lennox, Chrissie Hynde, Industry Execs Sign Anti-Brexit Letter

    Annie Lennox, Chrissie Hynde, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, Paloma Faith, Ed Sheeran manager Stuart Camp and Grammy/Emmy award-winning film composer David Arnold and several leading UK music industry bodies are among the signees of a letter drafted by the new organization Music4EU, stating that Brexit “represents a significant threat to the UK’s music industry” and [...]

  • Kevin Hart Oscars Gay Tweet Controversy

    What Public Figures Should Learn From the Kevin Hart Oscars Debacle (Guest Column)

    When social media erupted over Kevin Hart’s anti-gay tweets from years ago, many in the media and the entertainment industry believed he would immediately apologize, LGBTQ people would critique but ultimately accept his mea culpa, and the comedian would go on to host the Academy Awards. If offenders make a commitment to do better, their [...]

  • Bob Bakish Variety Cover Story

    Inside Bob Bakish's Aggressive Turnaround Plan for Viacom

    Bob Bakish was days into his job as CEO of Viacom in late 2016 when he began convening meetings with senior executives to execute a triage effort to save the once-mighty media giant. Paramount Pictures had just posted a $445 million annual loss. Viacom’s cable networks were in danger of being dropped by major distributors [...]

  • Craig Hunegs WB

    Craig Hunegs to Exit Warner Bros. TV Group and Digital Networks (EXCLUSIVE)

    After nearly 25 years in the Warner Bros. family, Craig Hunegs is exiting his post as head of business for Warner Bros. TV Group and president of the studio’s digital networks wing. Hunegs said he has been discussing his exit with Warner Bros. chairman-CEO Kevin Tsujihara for the past several months. At a time of [...]

  • 'Walking Dead' Profits Dispute Heading to

    'Walking Dead' Profits Dispute Heading to Trial

    The long-running legal battle between Frank Darabont and AMC over profits from “The Walking Dead” will run a bit longer, as a judge ruled Monday that the case must go to trial. Darabont and CAA sued the network back in 2013, arguing he was deprived of $280 million in profit participation because AMC did not [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content