NEW YORK—NextGen TV broadcasts were launched in New York City on October 16, making ATSC 3.0 signals available in the nation’s largest TV market for the first time.
As part of the launch, public television’s WLIW21 of The WNET Group converted to the ATSC 3.0 standard and is hosting NextGen TV broadcasts for six local channels.
The launch means that viewers in the #1 television market in the country will be able to receive NextGen TV, aka ATSC 3.0, broadcasts from WCBS (2), WLIW (21), WMBQ-CD (46), WNBC (NBC 4), WNET (13), and WNJU (Telemundo 47)
WLIW21 is simulcasting the signals but they will appear on their originally assigned local station lineups on all NEXTGEN TV receivers.
“WLIW21 is the first full power station to convert to NEXTGEN TV in the largest television market in the US — this is broadcast television history in the making,” said Neal Shapiro, president and CEO of The WNET Group. “We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with WNBC, WNJU and WCBS on ATSC 3 as we navigate the challenges and opportunities of this digital evolution. I’m confident this partnership will ensure the best possible outcome for our New York area viewers.”
The WNET Group was uniquely positioned to become the host or “lighthouse” in this commercial/non-commercial station partnership as the local operator of two full-power signals because it had moved WLIW21 to One World Trade Center in 2019 in anticipation of the upcoming ATSC 3.0 technology.
As part of the launch The WNET Group said that datacasting and location services are being explored to support mission-driven public television programming for educational and underserved audiences.
Heartland Video Systems has been the project consultant and integrator for The WNET Group.
As ATSC 3.0 continues to roll out across the country broadcasting in more than 70 cities, NextGen TV is expected to reach 70% of US television households in 2023.
TV Tech has been tracking all the launches of NextGen TV broadcasts around the country. Our complete coverage of the issue is available here and our complete list of markets that have launched 3.0 signals can be accessed here.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.