‘Next Generation’ of TV arrives in Charleston

Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 11:09 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 15, 2022 at 10:21 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Some viewers in the Charleston area are now able to get an early look at the next generation of television broadcasting.

Live 5 WCSC is now broadcasting in ATSC 3.0, also known as NEXTGEN TV, as of Thursday morning.

NEXTGEN TV combines the over-the-air broadcast signal with the internet.

The new broadcasting standard will cover 60% of American households by the end of 2022, Anne Shelle, the managing director of Pearl TV, said. That number is expected to increase to 80% by the middle of 2023, she said.

Here are the features NEXTGEN TV offers

Eventually, you’ll notice exciting new features of NEXTGEN TV. Pearl TV listed the following benefits of the new broadcasting standard:

  • Brilliant Video: NEXTGEN TV viewers will see 4K UHD HDR video with an ultra-vivid picture, brighter highlights and darker shadows. Highlights are up to 40 times brighter and blacks are 10 times darker than in a standard picture.
  • Enhanced Audio: NEXTGEN TV provides consistent volume across channels and crystal-clear dialog with Voice+, which allows every voice to be clearly heard. It uses the Dolby Audio System powered by Dolby AC-4. It is available to viewers the moment their NEXTGEN TV is set up.
  • Connected Content: The internet connection will help viewers get the most out of live sports, news, events and more as they happen.
  • Upgradable: A NEXTGEN TV purchased today is designed to be upgradable with the advancements of tomorrow. TV manufacturers can upgrade NEXTGEN TV sets connected to the internet with firmware updates just as today’s Smart TV manufacturers can. Those upgrades will accommodate new features to be launched in the future.
  • Robust Broadcast Signal: NEXTGEN TV will allow broadcasts that are more robust than current over-the-air signals. That means an indoor antenna will work fine for most viewers to pick up a NEXTGEN TV signal.

But you may not notice an immediate difference

Depending on how you receive the Live 5 broadcast signal, you may not notice any changes right away.

To begin seeing the better video or audio, you’ll either need a NEXTGEN TV (which comes with a built-in tuner) or a standalone NEXTGEN TV external tuner, CNET reports.

If you have a NEXTGEN TV, you’ll need to rescan to see the new signal.

If you receive our signal through an over-the-air antenna, cable, satellite, or streaming services like Paramount+, you won’t lose our signal. You’ll still be able to watch. But you won’t see the new benefits of NEXTGEN TV yet. Stations that broadcast in the ATSC 3.0 signal will continue broadcasting in HD.

The biggest changes are coming down the road

Customers in the market for a new television should look for the NEXTGEN TV logo to make sure...
Customers in the market for a new television should look for the NEXTGEN TV logo to make sure their set is capable of receiving and displaying the NEXTGEN TV signal. The NEXTGEN TV logo is a registered trademark of the Consumer Technology Association and is used by permission.(Consumer Technology Association)

The most exciting changes - and most beneficial for viewers - will come later. Viewers with their NEXTGEN TV sets will offer interactive features, a fact sheet from Pearl TV states.

Those features will include more personalized programming with additional information available on the screen, like additional news links, live sports stats, and even videos to jump to related to the programming they’re already watching.

Since some of the biggest features are still potentially a couple of years away, there’s no rush for customers to run out and purchase new equipment.

But when you decide you’re ready to buy a new television, you’ll definitely want to be sure to look for sets that have the NEXTGEN TV logo. There are already about 70 models available from leading companies that include Sony, Samsung and LG.

More manufacturers are expected to start rolling out their own versions as more stations across the country launch NEXTGEN TV broadcasting. As more televisions and antennas become available, the cost of those products is expected to fall.

There is no fee for NEXTGEN TV. The only costs would be the price of a new NEXTGEN TV or NEXTGEN TV-capable antenna.

Watch NEXTGEN TV here.

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