Next-Generation Television: Coming to a Screen Near You

BLOG by Luke Durham, CTO, Switch Media

ATSC 3.0, or NextGen TV – is the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s (ATSC) next-generation terrestrial broadcast system. Following rigorous testing and setbacks due to COVID-19, 60 US markets are now expected to launch NextGen TV by mid-2021, when the standard will reach 70 percent of all viewers in the US. South Korea were the first to officially endorse ATSC 3.0 as their broadcasting standard for ultra-high-definition television in 2016. This move enabled them to broadcast the 2018 Winter Olympics in 4K.

Based on the same fundamental technology as the Internet and many popular streaming media platforms, NextGen TV will bring together broadcast and OTT content and support high bandwidth streams so that broadcasters can transmit signals in 4K and 8K. It will also provide higher audio and video quality, improved compression efficiency, robust transmission for reception on both fixed and mobile devices, as well as greater accessibility, personalisation and interactivity.

NextGen TV allows media companies to take advantage of dynamic ad insertion (DAI), enabling them to deliver a seamless OTT viewing experience, as well as addressable advertising options. As online video continues to capture a greater proportion of audiences, the rigid ad break structures of traditional television are changing in accordance. Advertisers are being given more choice with the length of ads, the duration of ad breaks and of course the choice of audiences to target. DAI also enables broadcasters to apply data that they have about viewers’ behaviour and interests to provide a more meaningful interaction.

South Korea and the US aren’t the only countries to take advantage of next-generation television opportunities. In Europe, the integration of internet-delivered services alongside existing DTT free-to-air-services is supported by the latest hybrid broadcast broadband TV, the HbbTV 2.0 specification, which significantly improves support for IP linear streaming. As highlighted in our recent blog – How do broadcasters meet the future demands of television the HbbTV 2.0 specification improves support for IP linear streaming, allowing free-to-air platforms to mix IP-only channels with VOD content alongside free-to-air.

DAI has amazing potential when orchestrated well. At Switch Media, we make it our business to do just that — working closely with businesses as they transition to DAI. Our DAI technology AdEase, which is part of our MediaHQ online video platform, supports the HbbTV 2.0 specification. It includes a client-side SDK that enables addressable personalised advertising for live and on-demand content across individual and household connected devices. It also offers API support to deliver interoperability with identity management systems, data management platforms and other systems to support more data-driven ad opportunities for advertisers.

We have the experience and the expertise to assist media companies as next-generation television services continue to roll-out worldwide. If you want more info, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!