NAB 2016: UHD, ATSC 3.0 Score High Among Consumers, Survey Says

The survey results bode well for ATSC 3.0, as companies debut new prototypes at NAB Show

Las Vegas — Nearly 70% of internet-connected TV owners say the new opportunities offered by ATSC 3.0 are appealing, 60% said they’re interested in making their next TV as 4K version, and more than half want a set with high dynamic range (HDR), according to the results of a survey released in conjunction with the NAB Show.

The survey from Frank N. Magid Associates — interviewing more than 500 American smart TV owners — found that about two-thirds liked the idea that ATSC 3.0 would enable enhanced emergency alerts on connected devices; the ability to use immersive audio; and the ability to customize their viewing experience.

“Consumers clearly show a desire to take full advantage of the capability of 4K Ultra HDTV combined with HDR displays, including the amazing audio capabilities that the new broadcast standard will make possible,” said Robert Crawford, SVP for Frank N. Magid Associates. “Our research shows that more than two-thirds of those surveyed believe the new standard will result in a better viewing experience because of bigger and better picture, more free channels, better audio quality, and enhanced interactivity.”

 “Our survey audience is comprised of connected consumers of information and entertainment. Virtually all of them own a cell phone and laptop, and nearly three- fourths also have a tablet. But only one out of four own a 4K Ultra HDTV today. So we wanted to find out more about how they’d react to the new features and new capabilities promised by ATSC 3.0.”

ATSC 3.0 would allow TV stations to deliver UHD and HDR signals, a hybrid broadband and linear TV experience, send VOD content and more. The survey results come as the industry gathers to see ATSC 3.0 at work April 18-21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with both consumer content and broadcaster equipment exhibitions.

The survey results were announced the same day that the National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) R&D arm (PILOT, formerly NAB Labs) announced it would demonstrate a prototype ATSC 3.0 receiver and gateway using the proposed standard’s “interactive environment” feature, which allows broadcasters to deliver customized viewer experiences over the air.

Using the prototype, Fox Sports will show off interactive, multi-view programming, while Akamai will have VOD content delivered using the device. There will also be a dedicated channel featuring the NHL’s that will deliver targeted advertising.

“Next-gen television is about much more than just improving the video and audio experience,” said So Vang, VP of advanced technology for NAB. “This prototype begins to demonstrate what is possible with an internet protocol (IP) based standard that leverages common web techniques to create a very engaging user experience.”