NextGen TV - What You Need to Know

From FreeTV.Info


NextGen TV is a new concept in over-the-air TV. As a result, many individuals do not have a full understanding as to what NextGen TV is and what it means to the average person. This page explains everything you need to know about NextGen TV.

NextGen TV - Explained

Official NextGen TV certification logo. Look for this logo on your device to determine if the device is able to receive and display NextGen TV unencrypted and NextGen TV DRM encrypted broadcasts.
Official ATSC Logo.

NextGen TV - Is a new broadcast TV standard. The "NextGen TV" signal, sent over-the-air to your TV, is a different signal format than that of the current TV signal. NextGen TV has nothing to do with cable TV and nothing to do with streaming apps. NextGen TV refers only to over-the-air, broadcast (OTA) TV. The technical term for "NextGen TV" is called "ATSC3.0". NextGen TV and ATSC3.0 are the same thing. The current TV signal format is commonly known as "digital TV " and it is often referred as "digital broadcast TV". The technical term for "digital tv" is called ATSC1.0. The present broadcast TV signal technical term is called ATSC1.0. The ATSC1.0 signal format is often referred as "digital tv" or "digital broadcast TV". The NextGen TV signal format has a much greater capability than the present ATSC1.0 signal format. The NextGen TV signal has the capability for 4K video. It also allows Dolby 7.1.4 surround sound and Dolby Atmos. See the table below for a side-by-side comparison.

ATSC3.0 - Is the technical term for "NextGen TV". ATSC3.0 and NextGen TV are the same thing. NextGen TV is a marketing term used to promote the ATSC3.0 signal standard. The term "ATSC" is an acronym for Advanced Television Systems Committee. This committee develops the broadcast TV standards. The ATSC3.0 signal format was first placed into service during the year 2017.

ATSC1.0 - Is the technical term for "Digital TV" or "Digital Broadcast TV". The ATSC1.0 signal format is the current format for over-the-air television. It was mandated to be used by all U.S. broadcast TV station during the year of 2009. The ATSC1.0 format superseded the NTSC signal format.

NTSC - Is the technical term for the broadcast TV signal that was used prior to the year 2009. The NTSC signal format was used, in the U.S., between the years 1927 thru 2009. This signal format only allowed for analog video and analog sound. The maximum video resolution was 640x480 (480i). This video resolution is often referred as "standard resolution (SD)". The NTSC signal only allowed a maximum of two separate sound channels (Stereo). However, Dolby Prologic surround sound was able to be encoded to any stereo broadcast. Dolby Prologic was an analog version of 5.1 surround sound. Although the NTSC signal format was able to carry Dolby Prologic, most over-the-air TV programs were not encoded with the Prologic. As a result, most over-the-air TV programs were either two channel stereo or mono (one channel).

DRM Encryption - DRM is an acronym for Digital Rights Management. DRM Encryption is a method of scrambling the TV signal so unauthorized devices, such as capture devices, cannot display and/or record the TV signal. DRM is currently being rolled-out across the entire United States on all ATSC3.0 broadcasts. It is highly speculated that TV stations, using DRM encryption, will control which programming can be recorded to a DVR and which programming cannot. It is also speculated that TV broadcasters will use DRM Encryption in an effort to make certain over-the-air-broadcasts require payment to watch.

NextGen TV Certified - This term is sometimes referred as "NextGen TV Enabled" or simply "NextGen TV". NextGen TV Certified refers to devices, such as TV's, that have the ability to decode the ATSC3.0 signal and decode DRM encrypted broadcasts. At the present time, not all NextGen TV Certified devices have the ability to decode and display DRM Encrypted broadcast signals. NextGen TV Certified devices have the ability to decode non-encrypted ATSC3.0 broadcasts. These devices will have the ability to decode DRM encrypted broadcast through the use of a firmware update to the device once the firmware update is available from the manufacturer. The best way to know if a device is NextGen TV certified is to look for the official NexGen TV logo on it. All devices that have the ability to decode and display ATSC3.0 encrypted and ATSC3.0 non-encrypted TV broadcasts will display the official NextGen TV logo shown at the upper-right of this page.

Comparison of TV Broadcast Signal Standards
Commonly Known As: NextGen TV Digital TV or Broadcast Digital TV Standard Broadcast TV
Technical Term: ATSC3.0 ATSC1.0 NTSC
Time Period In Service (Years): 2017-Present 2009 - Present 1941 - 2009
Max. Video Resolution (Pixels): 3840x2160 (4k) 2048x1080 (1080p) 640x480 (480i)
Video Resolution Known As: Ultra HD or UHD Full High Definition or Full HD Standard Definition or SD
Video & Audio Format: Digital Digital Analog
Max. Number of Audio Channels: 7.1.4 5.1 * 2
Viewer Interactivity? Yes No No
Codec: H.265 HVEC H.262 MPEG2 or H.264 MPEG4 No Codec
Watch TV While in Motion? Yes No Yes
Is DRM Encryption Used? Yes No No
   * The NTSC signal has only two physical sound channels. The analog Dolby Prologic and analog Dolby Three Stereo encodes its signals within each of the two stereo channels on what are called "subchannels". As a result, Dolby Prologic can deliver up to 5.1 different channels of sound by using the two stereo channels within the NTSC signal. The analog Dolby Three Stereo can deliver up to three sound channels by using the two stereo channels within the NTSC signal. Like Prologic, Dolby Three Stereo accomplishes this by using "subchannels" on each of the two stereo channels. Although the NTSC signal is able to deliever up to 5 channels of sound, by using Dolby Prologic, most over-the-air broadcasts did not encode Dolby Prologic into the signal. As a result over-the-air boradcast contained either 2 channel stereo or mono (one channel) sound.