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‘Early Success’ in 2020 Critical for ATSC 3.0, and ‘We Need to Build on That,’ Says Noland

ATSC’s goal at NAB Show New York is “keeping the momentum going” for ATSC 3.0, “but also education,” which is why the “theme” of ATSC’s booth will be “Get Ready!” President Madeleine Noland told us Friday. As the 3.0 deployment gets closer, industry professionals responsible for the implementation are bound to have “a lot of questions,” she said.

ATSC member company volunteers -- “experts in the standard” -- will be “available in the booth at all times to answer questions,” said Noland. “The folks who are facing implementation right away are going to have a new set of questions as the reality becomes closer and closer. We’re there to help.”

NAB Show New York attendees typically are “people who have not been sitting in the standards meetings all this time,” said Noland. “Our hope is that we’re going to have some folks who are New York residents from the major networks, people who have questions about content production and using the great new tool that 3.0 offers.”

ATSC also is producing a panel at the show Thursday on 3.0 content production and protection, said Noland. ATSC expects “to get questions from all over the industry -- questions from people who are interested in the business side,” or from professionals interested in “transition” issues like channel-sharing, she said. “We think it’s going to span the gamut.”

Noland doubts “anybody on the Earth” can anticipate every 3.0 question that will come ATSC’s way at the show, “but we’re certainly trying,” she said. “We recognize there are folks from sales, folks from general management, folks from news and production.”

ATSC is “very, very much focused and committed to supporting this 3.0 launch,” said Noland. “When I called for volunteers and asked, ‘Hey, can you please help us out here?’ we were very pleased with the response from the membership.”

The ATSC team expects that 3.0-compliant consumer products will be displayed “on the show floor at CES” in January, said Noland. The NextGen TV logo program was announced (see 1909260021), “which we’re very excited about,” and the logo licensing program “is underway,” she said. “ATSC is going to have a presence at CES, with some road map-type stuff, pointing to all the 3.0 products that are available to be seen at the various booths.”

Noland believes 3.0 “success in 2020 at an initial level is going to be important,” she said. “In putting out new services, there needs to be good acceptance of those services, and good performance on the part of the television sets that are receiving those services, and growing it from there.” In 2020, 3.0 will be “just out of the starting gate, so we need to have some early success, and we need to build on that,” she said.

As you go through this process, and you talk to all the stakeholders and everybody who has put in tons of time, you realize that launching next-gen TV is a massive undertaking,” said Noland. “There are lots of moving parts, so we are very excited to see everything coming together for 2020 in the U.S. It’s just amazing watching all this stuff come together.”

If the 3.0 launch “can be done” successfully, “it will be done,” said Noland. All ATSC stakeholders are “laser-focused, and on our way,” she said. “That goes for the broadcasters, for the networks, for the TV makers, for the ATSC membership. There’s no doubt about the focus.”

Noland travels Monday to the India Mobile Congress in New Delhi as a guest of the Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India, which participates in the 3rd Generation Partnership Project standardization body for 5G, she said. She will speak at the conference about 3.0 and 5G “convergence, and how that all works,” she said. That convergence “will be exciting” for India, she said. “They have 1.2 billion cellphones, so there are opportunities there that are unique to that country.”

ATSC estimates about 20 exhibitors showing 3.0 products will be at NAB Show New York. The ATSC exhibit will emphasize the 60-plus U.S. markets that expect to be on the air with 3.0 services by the end of 2020. The show opens Wednesday at the Javits Convention Center for a two-day run.