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A new connectivity era: how Sinclair Broadcast Group and LTN power the ATSC 3.0 revolution

August 10, 2022 by Mary Crebassa, VP Major Accounts
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IP is transforming the broadcasting industry. ATSC 3.0 is an excellent example of the opportunities IP technology brings to broadcasters, including significant improvements in viewing quality, new revenue streams, and exciting business models. However, new innovative technologies come with opportunities, complexities, and challenges requiring careful planning and cutting-edge technical capabilities to deliver on their promise.

When planning its transition to IP and NextGen TV, The Sinclair Broadcast Group partnered with LTN to ensure the TV network leveraged the latest innovation. Sinclair selected LTN’s powerful and intelligent transport network to overcome the complexities in ATSC 3.0 deployment and simplify the live stream distribution workflows, especially as broadcasters needed to simulcast in the current and ATSC 3.0 standards simultaneously.

ATSC 3.0 is an excellent example of the opportunities IP technology brings to broadcasters, including significant improvements in viewing quality, new revenue streams, and exciting business models.

Staying relevant: The NextGen TV revolution in broadcasting

The media industry is changing fast, driven by technology innovation and ever-evolving consumer habits. Consumers expect relevant, personalized content to be readily available to be consumed seamlessly and often simultaneously across platforms.

The challenge for media companies is to remain relevant in this fast-shifting media landscape where new digital platforms, streaming services, and destinations appear at lightning speed. Contrary to the current ATSC 1.0 standard, an IP-based standard enables live, linear content to be compatible with other digital platforms and provide a seamless consumer experience.

ATSC 3.0 is the first significant overhaul since the introduction of ATSC 1.0 in 1996 and is the answer to this challenge. The previous standard was fit for a different purpose and doesn’t allow for the transition to IP and the mobility required by today’s consumers. The new codified broadcast standard for OTA transmission emulates how the internet and digital services are delivered. The all-IP transmission system enables two-way interactivity and personalized multiscreen applications. ATSC 3.0 enhances digital broadcasting and reshapes the viewing experience, including support for 4K UHD resolution, HDR video quality, and Dolby Atmos enhanced sound.

ATSC 3.0 also enables broadcasters to deliver hyper-localized and personalized programming, such as local weather, news, and public safety alerts, bringing real value to their audiences. TV networks can also activate targeted advertising, ensuring different audiences consume the ads most relevant to them. In doing so, networks can elevate their advertising campaigns and tap into new business models and revenue streams.

ATSC 3.0 drives new exciting data-rich use cases, including datacasting powering the Internet of Things (IoT), the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), advanced geolocation, drone services, and driverless vehicles delivering data with high accuracy.

The previous standard was fit for a different purpose and doesn’t allow for the transition to IP and the mobility required by today’s consumers.

The Sinclair Broadcast Group and LTN drive ATSC 3.0 take-off

The Sinclair Broadcast Group and LTN partnered in 2019 to enable the deployment of the ATSC 3.0 standard and ensure TV stations transitioning to ATSC 3.0 would provide TV service continuity to all stakeholders around the IP distribution of content. ATSC 3.0 was launched in May 2020 in Las Vegas by four local stations operated by three of the US’s largest broadcasters, i.e., Nexstar Media Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group, and The E.W. Scripps Company.

Stations are at different levels of video distribution. Therefore, managing fragmentation in the video infrastructure and catering to these differing needs was a huge challenge that LTN needed to address. LTN’s intelligent low-latency transport network allows seamlessly and reliably rerouting TV and data services to free up the spectrum. The channel repacking capability makes broadcasting both ATSC 3.0 and the existing ATSC 1.0 standard possible.

“The transition to IP is a paradigm shift in the broadcasting industry, opening up new opportunities for broadcasters to deliver better viewing experiences and tap into new revenue streams,” said Mark Aitken, SVP of Advanced Technology at Sinclair Broadcast Group. “The Sinclair Broadcast Group, a pioneer in the ATSC 3.0 standard deployment, leveraged LTN’s best-of-breed IP transport solutions to turn this vision into reality. Through its powerful multicast IP network, LTN has demonstrated it can resolve any IP video distribution problem. LTN is the ‘easy button’ for IP.”

“The transition to IP is a paradigm shift in the broadcasting industry, opening up new opportunities for broadcasters to deliver better viewing experiences and tap into new revenue streams,” said Mark Aitken, SVP of Advanced Technology at Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Harnessing the ATSC 3.0 opportunities with the right partnerships

The NextGen revolution is here, enabling the media industry to move to the new IP media landscape in line with the innovation across adjacent sectors like the IoT, big data analytics, self-driving vehicles, geolocation services, etc.

The Sinclair Broadcast Group and LTN have pioneered bringing this revolution to life by strategizing to overcome challenges and providing the infrastructure backbone for the broadcasting sector’s transition to ATSC 3.0. Through continuous innovation and strong partnership, Sinclair and LTN Global are changing the future of TV and making the broadcasting industry a driving force of ubiquitous connectivity.

Through continuous innovation and strong partnership, Sinclair and LTN Global are changing the future of TV and making the broadcasting industry a driving force of ubiquitous connectivity.
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