World Series Broadcast Marks an ATSC 3.0 First

A local Cleveland station transmitted the first game of the World Series using the next-gen standard, a first for the technology

Cleveland’s local Fox affiliate, WJW-TV, broadcast the first game of the World Series Oct. 25 using ATSC 3.0, the first-ever live sports event aired using the next-gen, over-the-air transmission system.

The experimental, ATSC 3.0-enabled station in Cleveland is simulcasting network and local programming from the affiliate, and was home to the first ATSC 3.0 tests earlier this year, with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) receiving an FCC license to operate a Channel 31 transmitter, using it as a test lab for broadcasters and manufacturers involved in ATSC 3.0.

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The tech involved with the World Series ATSC 3.0 broadcast included a GatesAir ATSC 3.0 exciter for over-the-air transmission, ATSC 3.0 receivers and antennas from LG Electronics, HEVC video and Dolby AC4 audio encoders from Harmonic, with Triveni Digital supplying signaling and announcement metadata, generating the IP stream, and offering system integration support.

“This is a defining moment for the future of television,” said Richard Friedel, chairman of the Advanced Television Systems Committee, the standards group developing ATSC 3.0. “Together with Tribune Media, the NAB and our technology partners, we are showing the FCC and our fellow broadcasters that next gen TV is a grand slam home run.” Friedel is executive VP and GM for Fox Networks Engineering and Operations.

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Sam Matheny, NAB executive VP and CTO, added: “ATSC 3.0 standards are nearing completion, and over the coming months in conjunction with partners, we expect to test real-world next gen TV applications like UHD TV, interactive services, targeted advertising, advanced emergency alerting, and more.”