Rohde & Schwarz Transmitting NEXTGEN TV

NEXTGEN TV (ATSC 3.0) offers broadcasters a greater degree of flexibility in their service offerings because it is designed to evolve together with broadcasters’ future operational roadmap.

Rohde & Schwarz recently announced its global market share for ATSC 3.0 transmitters is approaching 90 percent. More than 60 R&S ATSC 3.0 transmitters are already in commercial operation in South Korea. Currently, the company is supporting multiple customers throughout North America and Korea. During the US spectrum repack Rohde & Schwarz provided hundreds of ATSC 3.0 ready transmitters.

In the US, broadcasters are dynamically moving towards ATSC 3.0, while in South Korea the ATSC 3.0 roll-out took place for the Olympic Winter Games in 2018.  The public service broadcaster in South Korea, Korea Broadcasting System (KBS), has operated ATSC 3.0 as an ultra-high definition (UHD) service since 2017.

”KBS and Rohde & Schwarz have worked together developing our new terrestrial UHD service based around R&S THU9 TV transmitters since 2014,” explains Dr. Sungho Jeon Ph.D., Manager, Department of Media Distribution Management at KBS. “Today most of South Korea’s ATSC 3.0 TV transmitter sites operate R&S THU9 transmitters - not only KBS, but also other broadcasters in Korea. For three years, the system has been operating and KBS is very happy.”

“NEXTGEN TV is bringing wide-scale terrestrial broadcasting into the IP age,” said Manfred Reitmeier, Vice President Transmitter and Amplifier Systems at Rohde & Schwarz. “At Rohde & Schwarz, we see a critical role supporting broadcast network operators in their transition by supplying the world’s first software-based NEXTGEN TV system and the world’s most field-proven solution.”

Rohde & Schwarz transmitters fully support ATSC 3.0 core features, including multiple physical layer pipes (PLP), multiple subframes and single frequency networks (SFN) capabilities for optimal spectrum utilization. It also supports ATSC 3.0 layered division multiplexing (LDM), helping broadcasters maximize coverage in different reception scenarios, including fixed and mobile reception. With the transition to NEXTGEN TV, operators can extend their coverage via SFNs (Single Frequency Networks).

The coverage of existing high-power sites can be efficiently extended by adding lower power auxiliary sites and generate a single frequency network. These auxiliary sites need efficient ways to feed signals and an IP-based standard such as NEXTGEN TV meets this requirement. The R&S Relaycaster solution works in tandem with the R&S NEXTGEN TV transmitters in this application: it enables public internet connection to be used for input feed to the transmitters – dedicated and expensive links are not necessary anymore. This helps operators to reduce infrastructure costs, while leveraging the SFN coverage advantage.

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