Sinclair, Nexstar team up with American Tower for ATSC 3.0 SFN sites in Dallas

Aerial view of Dallas Texas
The sites in Dallas will serve to test the transition from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0 and help broadcasters prepare for the future deployment of ATSC 3.0 SFN nationwide. (f11photo/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Sinclair, Nexstar Media and Univision are teaming up with American Tower to build and operate Single Frequency Network (SFN) sites with ATSC 3.0 signals within the Dallas Designated Market Area (DMA).

The SFN will allow for the testing, validation and deployment of next-generation broadcast services including improved over-the-air reception, immersive audio, deeper indoor reception, mobile reception, zoned programming/advertising, automotive services and advanced emergency alerting, according to a news release.

The sites will serve to test the transition from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0 and help broadcasters prepare for the future deployment of ATSC 3.0 SFN nationwide. The companies are hoping this buildout with American Tower will help develop a deployment roadmap for faster and more cost-efficient launches of next-generation TV services.

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"With the FCC's approval of the ATSC 3.0 standard, broadcasters are eager and ready to demonstrate its many capabilities, business opportunities and consumer benefits. This is an exciting time for television broadcasters as we deploy new technologies that will allow us to provide advanced nationwide business models that benefit consumers and allow us to remain competitive,” said Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley in a statement.

"As a leader in wireless infrastructure with over 20 years of expertise in the broadcast industry, we are excited about this opportunity to help broadcasters speed Next Gen TV deployments. The combination of our broadcast and wireless assets, industry expertise, coupled with these three television broadcast leaders will help to make ATSC 3.0 a reality for broadcasters,” said Steven Marshall, executive vice president and president of U.S. Tower, a division of American Tower, in a statement.

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Sinclair has been accelerating the pace of its ATSC 3.0 initiatives so far in 2018. Earlier this month, the company announced a partnership with Imagine Communications to build an ATSC 3.0 advertising management software platform and a separate agreement with SK Telecom to co-develop an ATSC 3.0 next-generation TV platform, which they intend to build in the first half of 2018.

Meanwhile Sony and Pearl TV—a consortium of broadcasters including Nexstar Media, TEGNA and Raycom Media—announced plans to test an ATSC 3.0 interactive channel guide in Phoenix, which is serving as a model market for ATSC 3.0 service trials.

This all comes as Advanced Television Systems Committee members approved the ATSC 3.0 suite of standards during CES.

“Our suite of ATSC 3.0 standards paves the way for a new kind of television service, one that is far more flexible and adaptable than previous standards. ATSC 3.0 will bring historic innovations to broadcasters and to viewers, from robust transmission to immersive audio, and from 4K Ultra-HDTV to interactive services and more," said ATSC President Mark Richer in a statement.

"The 20 individual standards that comprise the release of ATSC 3.0 will give broadcasters the ability to utilize new transmission methods and finally bring together innovations in both over-the-air and broadband services,” Richer added.