NAB Show Demonstrations to Highlight Improved Performance, Emergency Alerting, Targeted Advertising, Flexible Options for Future ATSC 3.0 Broadcasts

LAS VEGAS, April 8, 2015 – Television broadcasters gathering here next week at the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show will see the future of over-the-air TV, as the “FUTURECAST Universal Terrestrial Broadcasting System” expands to incorporate all of the major elements of an ATSC 3.0 next-generation broadcast system.

Complementing further enhancements to the rugged transmission performance of its proposed system for the ATSC 3.0 Physical Layer, FUTURECAST is now a complete system by incorporating the Applications/Presentation Layer and the Management/Protocol Layer.

The NAB Show demonstrations will show how FUTURECAST can deliver 4K Ultra HD, mobile TV, live emergency alerts and targeted advertising while optimizing indoor reception and offering unparalleled spectrum efficiency. FUTURECAST was co-developed by LG Electronics, its U.S. R&D subsidiary Zenith, and GatesAir as the foundation of next-generation terrestrial broadcasting in the United States and around the world.

FUTURECAST demonstrations will be showcased in the GatesAir booth in Central Hall (C3107) of the Las Vegas Convention Center next Monday through Thursday. FUTURECAST’s unique system architecture also will be featured during the annual Broadcast Engineering Conference (2:30 p.m., April 12 in S219, LVCC).

Improved Performance and Flexible Coding

FUTURECAST includes enhanced indoor TV signal penetration for mobile reception, thanks to flexible coding choices. Flexible modes enable the delivery of very high data rates or very robust transmission and numerous combinations in between.

“As a direct result of initial field tests last fall, FUTURECAST has been improved to feature enhanced signal re-acquisition and better multipath performance to further enhance robustness and efficiency. FUTURECAST now increased data throughput to 36 percent for fixed reception and improved multipath performance, as compared with the current DTV standard, for fixed and portable TV reception. We’re also looking forward to more FUTURECAST field testing in Cleveland in the months ahead,” said Dr. Skott Ahn, President and Chief Technology Officer, LG Electronics, a co-developer of FUTURECAST.

Integrated Emergency Alerting

The expanded new FUTURECAST system includes emergency alerting that triggers the Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN), the industry’s next-generation alerting system announced earlier this year. Using the common alerting protocol, AWARN can wake-up a device and includes rich-media features such as video, evacuation routes and HTML pages.

Rich Redmond, Chief Product Officer for FUTURECAST co-developer GatesAir, said, “Visitors to the GatesAir booth at the show will see simultaneous 4K Ultra HDTV and high-definition mobile programs along with AWARN rich-media emergency alerts delivered by the FUTURECAST system. We’ve expanded the capabilities of FUTURECAST to include all the elements needed for next-generation broadcasting.”

Targeted Advertising with ATSC 3.0

In partnership with broadcast technology leader Triveni Digital, FUTURECAST will also show the capability to seamlessly deliver addressable content on two LG Smart TV systems that render the advertisement slot differently while displaying identical programmatic content. The goal is to show how broadcasters can leverage ATSC 3.0 technologies to extend their current service by efficiently distributing addressable content such as targeted ads or personalized/localized program elements to viewers utilizing an ATSC 3.0 system. The targeted advertising demonstration is in Triveni’s North Hall (N5637) exhibit in the ATSC Pavilion.

ATSC Setting the Standard

The co-developers of FUTURECAST anticipate that key system elements will be part of the ATSC 3.0 Candidate Standard, expected to be approved this year. FUTURECAST technologies are among the proposals now being evaluated by the Advanced Television Systems Committee, which has hundreds of experts working to assemble and document the next-generation broadcast standard.

Expected to redefine TV broadcasting for decades to come, the overall ATSC 3.0 next-generation broadcast television system will require higher capacity to deliver 4K Ultra-High-Definition services, robust reception on mobile devices and improved spectrum efficiency, according to the ATSC.

The FUTURECAST Universal Terrestrial Broadcasting System is designed to provide the optimized combination of broadcasting capabilities for fixed, portable and mobile use. Flexible parameters allow broadcasters to mix diverse services – from fixed 4K Ultra HD and deep-indoor handheld reception to high-speed mobile reception – in a single RF channel with maximum efficiency.

FUTURECAST Transmission Flexibility

The FUTURECAST system supports single-frequency networks and/or multiple transmitters, and its use of a single RF transmission’s flexible physical layer profile assures optimum quality of service. The extensible new system is designed to support evolution to future broadcast systems even beyond ATSC 3.0. The increased payload capacity of the physical layer combined with HEVC encoding will allow broadcasters many more options when planning their broadcast services.

Designed for easy extension to various current and future transport formats, FUTURECAST optimizes efficiency for the most-used data formats (Internet Protocol, Transport Stream) via customized stream compression. FUTURECAST’s superior RF approach addresses the co-channel and adjacent-channel interference challenges related to the anticipated UHF spectrum repacking.

The FUTURECAST Universal Terrestrial Broadcasting System is the latest collaboration among LG, Zenith and GatesAir, co-inventors of the transmission system behind the ATSC A/153 Mobile Digital TV Standard, adopted by the industry in 2009. Zenith invented the core transmission system at the heart of today’s ATSC A/53 Digital Television Standard, approved by the Federal Communications Commission in 1996.



Media Contacts:

John I. Taylor — LG Electronics USA- Zenith



Dave Arland — FUTURECAST (Arland Communications)



Brian Galante – GatesAir (Dimension PR)