ATSC 3.0 GOES GLOBAL Capabilities Highlighted at Broadcast Conference in India

By MARK AITKEN

India is a democracy with a billion-plus people in over 600,000 cities and villages – and more than 1,000 TV services, 1,400 television stations, a smartphone market likely to touch 500 million.  ATSC 3.0 is the ideal fit for the “Digital India” program with mobile-first services, advanced data delivery as well as emergency and educational connectivity.

At the 2017 Indian Broadcast Engineering Society Expo in Delhi, Sinclair Broadcast Group hosted a two-hour ATSC 3.0 tutorial session on “Disruptive Broadcast Broadband Solutions for Digital India.” Executives and engineers from India’s public broadcaster Prasar Bharati, technology providers, broadcasters and government representatives learned all about the benefits of Next Gen TV powered by ATSC 3.0. 

This year, the annual conference focused on “Hybrid Technologies in Broadcasting – New Opportunities,” right in the ATSC’s wheelhouse.  My colleague Sesh Simha (Sinclair’s Senior Director of Advanced Projects) and I were there as ambassadors articulating the capabilities inherent in ATSC 3.0 as an excellent fit with the needs defined in India for “mobile first” services, advanced all-IP data delivery as well as emergency and educational connectivity.  We enumerated the advantages of ATSC 3.0 over DVB-T2, and we explained that with modest software upgrades, the first phase of Prasar Bharati’s digitalization is already ATSC 3.0-capable.

The event coincided with a landmark recommendation from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to its parent Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to permit private participation to “ensure plurality and competition in the market.” The recommendation deliberately didn’t force new entrants to adopt the existing standard, recognizing that “the new generation of DTT (digital terrestrial television) broadcasting standards are moving towards service agnostic spectrum use.”

Mark Aitken is the Vice President of Advanced Technology for Sinclair Broadcast Group.