“It says something about how broadcasting is perceived that nobody cares that the industry just settled on a new transmission standard that could revitalize, if not revolutionize, the free, universal, over-the-air medium,” TVNewsCheck editor Harry A. Jessell writes in a story posted today by the publication.
The story talks about the announcement Tuesday by the ATSC that it has adopted a “candidate” standard for broadcast television’s next-generation system.
“Assuming that testing goes as well as expected, the candidate standard with perhaps a few tweaks will become the final industry standard sometime next year,” Jessell writes. He notes that the new standard, ATSC 3.0, has great potential.
“It will allow stations to keep pace with other TV media by enabling them to broadcast 4K and to reach TV sets without outdoor antennas and, perhaps more important, smartphones and tablets wherever they go,” the report notes. “Yet, despite this promise, the ATSC announcement of the milestone got no pickup in the popular press, according to my spin around Google.”
Jessell notes that the development of the standard, which has been five years-plus in the making, has been largely ignored by the media the whole time.
“To me, the indifference suggests that popular media, reflecting popular thinking, have written off broadcasting as an archaic medium on its way to oblivion,” Jessell writes. “This notion is reinforced by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who sees it mostly as a place to raid for spectrum for wireless carriers.”
The piece notes that broadcast TV had its big debut in the 1950s, and after a long run at the top, Jessell writes, “There are more and, right now, better ways of delivering TV to most people — cable, satellite and OTT or broadband. (Notice I didn’t say to ‘all people’; only broadcasting can do that.)”
But broadcast TV is not dead yet, he notes. “In fact, that’s the story of ATSC 3.0, that’s the story that the editors, producers and reporters are missing. With ATSC 3.0, broadcasting may enjoy a renaissance — new services, truly ubiquitous reception and, because it’s IP based, integration with the world of the Internet. Who doesn’t enjoy a good come-back tale?”
We encourage readers to click on the link near the top of this story to read Jessell’s full analysis.