ATSC Says NextGen TV Rollout Continues Despite COVID-19 Impact




nextgen logo resize

Despite delays and setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Advanced Televisions Systems Committee says the 2020 rollout of ATSC 3.0 is still moving forward. The new broadcasting standard, which will use the “NextGen TV” branding is scheduled to go live on all major networks in Las Vegas and Portland, Ore., by early June, the group said in a news release.

That date represents a slide from the initial on-air date of April, but the group still expects ATSC 3.0 to come online in several cities this year. Launches in Pittsburgh, Nashville, Salt Lake City, and Charleston are all scheduled for the first half of 2020. In the second half of the year, markets like Seattle, San Antonio, Austin, and Tampa are expected to come online.

Before the pandemic, plans were in place for 40 markets to start ATSC 3.o0 broadcasts this year, but the group reports that, so far, only 24 applications have been filed with the Federal Communications Commission. The April launches in Las Vegas and Portland had been timed to go online in time for the annual National Association of Broadcasters’ NAB Show, but this year’s event was canceled in March, alongside many large group events in the wake of the ongoing outbreak.

“It was not realistic to maintain the original launch dates without putting people at risk,” John Hane, president of Spectrum Co. said in a news release.

The group also pointed out the revised June launch goals could arrive at around the same time as the first 3.0-capable TVs. And while ATSC 3.0 should eventually bring about new features to over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts, like 4K and HDR, the group said initial rollouts will be mostly simulcasts of existing 720p and 1080i content.

“Later in the year the 3.0 hosts could eventually offer 1080p 60 HD with high dynamic range (HDR), pending available content from the networks, and maybe even 4K UHD,” the release stated.

Part of the issue is the availability of native 4K content, especially with the postponement or cancellation of major sporting events like the 2020 Summer Olympic.

“It’s a question of availability,” Anne Schelle, Pearl TV’s executive director, said. “We were hoping to do some stunting in different markets with 4K content.”

Despite the scheduling changes, the ATSC says it’s continuing to move forward with the 3.0 launch this year, adding that its Next Gen Broadcast conference has been rescheduled for August, while the annual ATSC meeting will be held online in May.

We’ll continue to track the latest developments in ATSC 3.0 and keep you up-to-date.

Did you know we have a YouTube Channel? Every week we have a live Cord Cutting Q&A, and weekly Cord Cutting recap shows exclusively on our YouTube Channel!Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more news, tips, and reviews. Need cord cutting tech support? Join our Cord Cutting Tech Support Facebook Group for help.

Disclaimer: To address the growing use of ad blockers we now use affiliate links to sites like, streaming services, and others. Affiliate links help sites like Cord Cutters News, stay open. Affiliate links cost you nothing but help me support my family. We do not allow paid reviews on this site. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from :

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.