Chicago Launches Their First 3.0 Over-the-Air TV Station





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This week the Weigel Broadcasting Group, the parent company of WCIU, a Me-TV station, announced that they have turned on their first 3.0 ATSC over-the-air TV station in Chicago. This is a test of the new standard and for now is not open to the public.

When this goes live to the public it will bring 4K OTA TV and more over-the-air TV stations. This only a test and it joins tests in Dallas and Phoenix. There are many rumors around ATSC 3.0, and we want to break them down.

What is ATSC?

ATSC stands for the Advanced Television Systems Committee. This is the group that works in partnership with TV stations owners, the National Association of Broadcasters, and manufacturers to come up with broadcast TV standards. These standards mean the TV you buy will work with all over-the-air TV stations.

The committee has been around for some time and the current over-the-air TV standard is called ATSC 1.0, but no one really uses that name outside of the industry. Typically, we just call it over-the-air TV. Now, though, the committee is working on ATSC 3.0 as a new over-the-air TV standard.

What happened to ATSC 2.0?

You may be wondering if we are on ATSC 1.0 today and are moving to ATSC 3.0, what happened to ATSC 2.0? In short, the standard was made, and it included many great new features such as interactive content, video on demand, and advanced video compression. Yet after it was created 4K and 4K HDR became popular. It was decided that the industry would rather not spend money today to bring ATSC 2.0 into reality just to roll out ATSC 3.0 with 4K HDR support a few years later.

So, the decision was made to skip ATSC 2.0 and dive right in to ATSC 3.0 with 4K HDR support among other benefits.

What is ATSC 3.0?

ATSC 3.0 is a new standard that will bring a long list of new features to over-the-air TV. Two main features that will really excite cord cutters are 4K HDR picture with better sound and better over-the-air TV coverage.

There are also other great features such as detailed custom weather alerts and internet active news stories.

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