Technicolor, NAB Celebrate Successful ATSC 3.0 Test

Technicolor, LG, two Korean technology providers and others are celebrating today, following a successful field test of ATSC 3.0 in Cleveland, one that proved the next-gen transmission standard is capable of UHD upconverted high dynamic range (HDR) video in a densely populated metro area.

Sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the experimental field test took place May 14-15 at Tribune-owned WJW (Fox 8), with engineers setting up a receiver at the offices of Osborn Engineering in downtown Cleveland.

What the engineers sought to discover was whether the receiver’s location — which was burdened with signal reflections off of adjacent buildings, resulting in multipath interference — could achieve successful reception of UHD HDR via ATSC 3.0.

“The test was an immense success. We assembled a commercial system to show ATSC 3.0’s ability to support enhanced over-the-air services in challenging urban environments,” said Alan Stein, VP of technology development and standards at Technicolor. “The field test confirmed the ability to deliver upconverted high dynamic range (HDR) video services in a densely populated metropolitan area under a variety of challenging environments.”

The tests focused on the ability of ATSC 3.0 to deliver content encoded with Technicolor SL-HDR1, AKA Technicolor HDR, MPEG scalable HEVC, and Layer Division Multiplexing (LDM) technology from Korean technology research institute ETRI, which also provided a professional ATSC 3.0 receiver. Korean technology provider Kai Media supplied an HEVC and scalable HEVC and SL-HDR1 decoder, while LG supplied a consumer OLED 4K/UHD TV capable of HDR. Technicolor’s Intelligent Tone Management (ITM) technology was also used to convert original source content from SDR to HDR, using equipment provided by Cobalt Digital.

“The field test was another positive validation of how ATSC 3.0 will bring new value to viewers and a more effective platform to broadcasters,” said Kelly Williams, senior director of engineering and technology policy for NAB. “The ability to deliver multiple broadcasts of enhanced video -— in this case content encoded with Technicolor SL-HDR1 — on a single channel will help to transform the economics of the broadcast industry, and meet the high expectations that consumers have today.”