It was a bit unexpected. And the programming isn’t exactly a showcase of what NextGen TV can deliver. But at long last the Bay Area has an ATSC 3.0 (aka NextGen TV) broadcast compliments of KBKF! After spending a couple years trekking to Phoenix, Santa Barbara and Las Vegas to go to the emissions it’s nice to have one in our own backyard. And we’re pleased to add ATSC 3.0 monitoring support at SFBayATSC!
KBKF is operated by Venture Technologies Group, LLC and broadcasts on VHF 6 from Mt. Loma Prieta. At the time of writing the 3.0 emission consists of a single PLP utilizing 64 QAM and an 8/15 code rate. This is a bit more robust than other 3.0 emissions, which often utilize 256 QAM, though at the expense of a lower capacity (~14 Mbit/s). In mid June two ROUTE/DASH services were being transmitted – a barker channel as 6-1 and UChan as 6-2. At the moment UChan has taken the 6-1 VC and the barker has signed off. Interestingly the services are using AAC audio. While this was prevalent in early 3.0 phases when AC-4 support for receivers and encoders was still under development, commercial deployments in the US are required to use AC-4. (The ATSC 3.0 specification provides for multiple audio codecs, but only a single codec is allowed in a region. In North America that codec is AC-4.)
Continue reading “NextGen TV Arrives in the Bay Area!”
Yes we’re still alive! It’s been a crazy 2020. On top of pandemics, wildfires, and air quality bad enough to turn day into night, our WordPress installation has been plagued with issues preventing new posts from appearing. At long last it looks like we’ve exorcised the spirits haunting our site, so here’s what we’ve been up to while manually recovering posts from databases…
It’s been a busy year: ATSC 3.0 (aka NextGenTV) has moved from testing to reality and services have launched in Las Vegas, Portland, and several other locations. SiliconDust did a HDHomerun Quatro 4k Kickstarter, and after an almost comical set of delays including a dock strike and Nick Kelsey hoping for no earthquakes in Southern California, they’ve arrived in backer’s hands (including ours!). And we’ve been busy making sure Project Entangle keeps pace with these developments. Continue reading “Entangle Update Halloween Edition: Spooky Action at a (Social) Distance”
Broadcast television has traditionally been a prix fixe affair. A bunch of people shoot some video, slice it, stich it, and present it to you on your large screen TV to sit back and savor. If what appears doesn’t suit your palette, well, you can change the channel. Traditional broadcast TV has also been a largely lean back, consumptive experience without any chance to interact with or steer the program.
All that could change with ATSC 3.0 (aka NextGen TV). Continue reading “Reach Out and Touch Someone (…or your TV). Thoughts on ATSC 3.0 broadcast apps.”
MOUNTAIN VIEW, California (AB) Koherence Labs, the R&D arm of consumer electronics consulting firm Koherence, LLC, is rumored to have made a breakthrough in content recording. Dubbed “InfiniDVR,” the new technology allows an effectively unlimited recording capacity and permits viewing of all shows that have ever been or will be broadcast.
Continue reading “Breakthrough in DVR Storage and Time Shifting Rumored”
A bit more than a year ago I headed over to a former client’s headquarters to discuss a potential ATSC 3.0 project. The moment I stepped into the office I was swarmed by a group of engineers and managers with one primary question : are 3.0 broadcasts really going to be encrypted, and if so what DRM is going to be employed?
There’s been a lot of chatter about encryption of ATSC 3.0 broadcasts and what it means for free over-the-air TV. A lot of that discussion conflates encryption, content protection, and content rights management. This post will hopefully help in untangling things a bit while providing some context, and also some discussion around the unintended consequences that encryption may have on innovation in the consumer electronics space. Continue reading “ATSC 3.0: DRM and Encryption”