LG Joins ATSC 3.0 TV Test Project in Phoenix

LG has announced that it will provide ATSC 3.0 receivers for the “Model Market” test project in Phoenix, the first collaborative single-market effort to plan for and implement a transition to next-generation over-the-air broadcasting.

Spearheaded by Pearl TV in collaboration with several broadcast companies and supported by 10 TV Phoenix-area stations, the project is intended to show how next-generation 4K/Ultra HD TV broadcasting based on the new ATSC 3.0 standard can be deployed alongside existing digital TV service. LG is the first company to provide ATSC 3.0 receivers for the project.

Supporting companies include E.W. Scripps Company, Fox Television Stations, Meredith Local Media Group, Nexstar Media Group, Tegna Inc., Telemundo Station Group, Univision Communications, and providers of professional broadcast equipment.

The Phoenix Model Market project is designed to create an “open test bed” for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders in the TV ecosystem. Objectives include confirming basic TV service parameters and performance, assessing real-world TV application features and implementation requirements, testing interactive and addressable advertising functionality, ensuring interoperability with cable systems and assessing consumer appeal for new devices and services including high dynamic range (HDR) video and immersive audio content.

During the first phase of the Model Market test, partners will develop services, equipment, software, and documentation, explained Anne Schelle, executive director of Pearl TV. LG receivers will be tested by local broadcasters and consumer focus groups as the project ramps up this summer.

“The success of the Model Market will depend on the contributions of various stakeholders,” Schelle said. “And the collaboration between LG and Pearl leverages our significant respective resources and expertise to help facilitate the rapid conversion of the current ATSC 1.0 broadcast standard to the next-generation ATSC 3.0 standard.”

Creating an end-to-end model system will ultimately help foster industry consensus and drive ecosystem development, Schelle said. This includes development of the “lighthouse” transmitter concept to keep legacy digital TV available for all viewers while new ATSC 3.0 services are being launched.

Dr. Jong Kim, senior vice president in LG’s CTO Office, called the Model Market project “a key element of the commercialization of ATSC 3.0” as the new standard moves from the laboratory to the field. “We look forward to working with Pearl and Phoenix broadcasters on activities focused on technical, commercial, promotional and implementation aspects of the new platform,” said Kim, who also serves as president of LG’s Zenith R&D Lab in the U.S.