ATSC 3.0 Update: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Have you been wondering about the progress the FCC is making with ATSC 3.0? As the biggest online TV antenna dealer, we keep up on it. It has the potential to be a gamechanger for free over-the-air TV after all. Here’s the latest news: the FCC has adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking and now seeks comment. We’ll break down what this means and how ATSC 3.0, when it finally becomes available, will benefit cord-cutters.

1. The Current Rule

This limits how close broadcasters’ DTS sites can be to the borders of their authorized service areas. If a site is too close to its service boundaries, it increases the risk that those signals will spill over into other broadcasters’ areas. This could cause interference.

2. The Proposal in Question

Should broadcasters be allowed to increase the number of distributed transmission systems (DTS) they use in their coverage areas? The National Association of Broadcasters and public TV stations petitioned the FCC to change its current DTS rules. Those guidelines were adopted during the beginning of digital TV more than 10 years ago. If adopted, the new rule would allow broadcasters to use more DTS sites to increase the reach of the new ATSC 3.0 format.

3. The Issue at Hand

If the FCC adopts this petition, DTS signals would likely extend beyond each broadcaster’s service area. This could lead to interference, say critics of the change. TV translators and low-power TV stations such as rural broadcasters could be hit the hardest. One of the biggest critics of the change is Microsoft. Company spokespeople claim that broadcasters get better DTS site placement without the rule change.

Wait! What’s ATSC 3.0?

That’s right. Thousands of people come to this blog every day so maybe you didn’t catch our previous posts on the subject. ATSC stands for Advanced Television Systems Committee. It’s the name of the group that helps create broadcast TV standards. (The organization is assisted by the National Association of Broadcasters and manufacturers.) These standards make sure the TVs you buy will work with all over-the-air TV stations.

The name ATSC also refers to the standards the group creates. For example, ATSC 1.0 is the current over-the-air TV standard. That is set to be replaced by ATSC 3.0. The organization skipped over ATSC 2.0 because it came out on the heels of 4k and 4K HDR. The innovations of ATSC 2.0 – interactive content, video on demand, and advanced video compression – will be a part of ATSC 3.0, which are on the way.

The Benefits of ATSC 3.0

Cord-cutters, you’re going to love this new standard once it rolls out. (No, we don’t know exactly when that will be.) When it’s finally implemented across all TV markets, ATSC 3.0 will allow:

  1. 4K HDR picture.
  2. Better sound quality than what you have now.
  3. Improved over-the-air TV coverage.
  4. Custom weather alerts.
  5. Internet active news stories.

These are some exciting improvements for an entertainment medium that hasn’t had a ton of updates in the past 10 years.

Get Your TV Antenna Now!

Have you been thinking about cutting the cord for FREE local TV? Now is a good time to get that TV antenna you’ve been wanting. Any existing TV antenna will pick up ATSC 3.0 signals when the new standard becomes the norm. You won’t even need to buy a new TV since ATSC 3.0 will work with TVs for at least the next six to seven years. In other words, if you cut the cord now, you’re future-proofed for a while!

Ready to Cut the Cord?

Solid Signal carries the largest online selection of indoor and outdoor antennas. You’ll find all of today’s top brands in our inventory, including our in-house Xtreme Signal line. Working with Solid Signal is the best way to get the TV antenna you need. Our reps will calculate the distance between your home and the nearest TV towers then recommend the right antenna. To get started, call us at 888-233-7563, or fill out the form below.

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.