ATSC 3.0 Nextgen OTA TV Has a Major DRM Problem That Makes It Hard For Cord Cutters to Enjoy Free OTA TV





Image of a zapper box and a TV.

ATSC 3.0 Nextgen TV has a ton of promise and many great features like better range and the possibility of free 4K TV with your antenna. But ATSC 3.0 Nextgen TV also comes with digital rights management also known as DRM. This has resulted in many cord cutters not being able to enjoy free OTA TV and if they can it makes it a lot harder than the older ATSC 1.0 standard.

Thanks to some great coverage by the Antenna Man and Lon.TV on YouTube has been following all the issues with this new DVR. Today we hope to take a look at a few key issues with the new ATSC 3.0 TV that is preventing people from enjoying free over-the-air TV with their antenna.

ATSC 3.0 DRM is Broken on Many New TVs

One of the biggest arguments by the team behind ATSC 3.0 is that many new live TVs sold every day has the ability to decode DRM. THe problem is thou according to a recent report by the Antenna Man on YouTube is that the DRM on many of these TVs is broken. This is resulting on TVs that are certified to work with ATSC 3.0 to be unable to decode the DRM for 3.0 OTA TV. Even if they can decode the DRM it will often result in the TV freezing and being unable to show the channel.

Now Pearl TV the team behind ATSC 3.0 has confirmed these issues and says that updates should fix this issue. Yet for months now major companies have been aware of these issues and have yet to fix it. “While broadcasters are evaluating a very few isolated cases of software issues, we’re not aware of any widespread reception problems with NEXTGEN TV that is enabled with over-the-air content protection.  There may be cases where consumers need to download a software update for their set – not because of content protection, but for bug fixes or feature enhancements.”

The other issue with many of these new TV is they are more expensive than for example the very popular Roku TVs that currently do not have ATSC 3.0.

You can see some of these issues in the Antenna Mans YouTube video here:

No Network Tuner Support For ATSC 3.0 DRM

The other big issue is the ATSC 3.0 DRM won’t work with network tuners like Tablo DVRs and HDHomeRun. That means you will be unable to stream your antenna to multiple TVs inside your home. Instead with ATSC 3.0 DRM, you will need to have an antenna connected to each TV you own. For many that may be difficult because your TV maybe in the basement for example or in a hard-to-get location for a rooftop antenna for example according to Lon.TV.

Many ATSC 3.0 DRM Tuners Need Internet

One other big issue here is that many of these devices that have DRM support for ATSC 3.0 need a always-on internet connection. This means if your internet goes out during sever weather for example your free TV will also stop working. This means you will lose access to important weather information from local TV stations if your internet stops working.

Putting all of this together and what was once easy to use with free over-the-air TV is now a lot harder thanks to DRM in ATSC 3.0.

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