Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on TVTechnology.com
Although there are a number of peripheral devices on the market that allow viewers to receive ATSC 3.0 (NextGen TV) signals, they have not met the criteria to be certified as “NextGen TV” capable as established by standards set by the Consumer Technology Association. That’s about to change with the introduction of a new device to be released by Atlanta DTH this summer.
Also referred to as a “NextGen TV upgrade accessory receiver,” the ADTH NextGen TV Box is powered by Tolka ATSC 3 Stack software and is designed for use with household TV receivers, set-top boxes, in-car receivers, mobile phones, tablets or computers.
Since 3.0-enabled TV sets hit the market 3-4 years ago, sales have been slow, perhaps because only four manufacturers—Hisense, LG, Samsung and Sony—have been shipping the sets, which are mostly high-end (with the exception of Sony, which now makes 3.0 support available in all of their sets sold in the U.S.)
According to the CTA, 3.2 million NextGen sets were shipped last year, representing only 8% of all TVs shipped. It predicts that almost 5 million NextGen TVs will ship to dealers in 2023, 12% of the total and that by 2025, the share should hit 50%. But since ATSC 3.0 is not backward-compatible with 1.0, that means consumers have had to wait until their next TV purchase to seek out 3.0-enabled sets.
Also contributing to the slow uptake has been the lack of plug-and-play peripheral devices that meet the CTA’s NextGen TV certification program that ensures that the devices are able to provide the wide range of capabilities enabled by 3.0
Tolka Telecommunications, a producer of cable, satellite, terrestrial and IP media-related applications, and Atlanta DTH, which builds cable and satellite direct-to-home communications equipment and telecommunication systems for IPTV, OTT, DTT and other media-related applications, worked with Pearl TV’s FastTrack program to ensure that the ADTH NextGen TV Box meets the requirements of the Consumer Technology Association NextGen TV logo program and the expectations of ATSC 3.0 TV broadcasters. Tolka ATSC 3 Stack enables viewers can experience NextGen TV free-to-air television programs on Android and Linux platforms.
The ADTH NextGen TV Box allows ATSC 3.0 NextGen TV and ATSC 1.0 free-to-air television programs to be viewed on any IP-compatible TV display. Housed in a compact unit designed to fit beneath or alongside the display, the ADTH NextGen TV Box comes with ATSC 3.0 and ATSC 1.0 support, ethernet, dual-band Wi-Fi, HDMI, S/PDIF digital audio, and RCA connectors. A wide range of features are supported including an electronic program guide and parental controls. Dolby AC-4, audio description and closed captions can be activated to support viewers with impaired hearing.
The ADTH NextGen TV Box is scheduled to ship in July 2023 and is available now for pre-order on ADTH’s website at an MSRP of $119.99. The receiver is available for pre-order at the discounted price of $79.99 for a limited time.
“On behalf of the nation’s broadcasters who are spearheading the introduction of NextGen TV channels throughout the country, we are delighted to recognize Tolka for its expertise in developing a software stack that can power the ADTH upgrade accessory receiver,” comments Anne Schelle, Managing Director of Pearl LLC, a business organization promoting the interests of more than 820 network-affiliated U.S. television stations. “The TV industry is eager to promote the advantages of NextGen TV—including enhanced audio and video—and the addition of an affordable set-top device with the official NextGen TV certification opens new avenues for broadcasters and for the millions of viewers looking for an easy upgrade solution. It’s as simple as connecting the power, an antenna and an HDMI cord with the new ADTH device. And this is just the first of several products that are coming for viewers who are hoping to enjoy the enhanced NextGen TV experience.”
NextGen TV certification services and tools are provided by Resillion (formerly Eurofins Digital Testing) on behalf of the CTA and the NAB which joined forces in 2019 to launch the innovative logo program.
“We congratulate ADTH and Tolka for being the first accessory device to be NextGen TV certified,” says Dr. Bob Campbell, Director of Engineering at Resillion. “The NextGen TV logo is essential to maximize device sales, demonstrating compliance to the standards and giving consumers confidence in a product. We hope to support many more products to carry the mark in the coming months.”
“We would like to thank Pearl TV, the Consumer Technology Association, the U.S. National Association of Broadcasters and Resillion for their efforts in promoting NextGen TV as a major step in the advancement of broadcast television standards across the USA,” adds Alex Day, Tolka Telecommunications’ Vice President of Business Development “NextGen TV offers a major advance in terms of viewer experience, including 2160p 4K UHD video resolution, 120 Hz frame rate, high dynamic range, wide color gamut and cinema-quality audio. It is already accessible in 60 percent of homes across the USA and expected to reach 75 percent of American viewers by December of this year.”
About the Author
Tom Butts has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA’s Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.