Broadcast TV has been preparing for new standards and guidelines for delivering over-the-air channels to consumers. We’ve been hearing a lot about ATSC 3.0, but we know that there are a lot of questions about Next Gen TV. One of the most common is “will I need a new antenna?”
The short answer is no, you won’t need to buy a new antenna when ATSC 3.0 rolls out. Any antenna you’re currently using will still work after this update. You’ll also be able to keep using your current TV. The FCC requires TV stations that move to 3.0 OTA to offer the current OTA standard for five years after the move.
That said, you may need a new tuner for your antenna. Broadcasters want consumers to be able to continue using their current TVs, but in order to do that, you’ll need a tuner box. These are external devices that connect your antenna to the box and the box to your TV through the HDMI port. While companies are working on developing these tuners, details about pricing and availability are thin.
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.
Channels will eventually make the switch to ATSC 3.0, but we don’t yet know how soon broadcasters will begin using the new standard or when hardware will be readily available at affordable price points.
For now, we can look forward to the improvements in picture and sound quality, but shouldn’t be worried about our current TVs, antennas, and other equipment becoming obsolete.
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