ATSC 3.0, also known as “NextGen TV”, is still irrelevant to most cable cutters.

For years now, the broadcast television industry has been talking about plans to revise over-the-air television to a new standard called ATSC 3.0.

Also know as NextGen TV, ATSC 3.0 can offer 4K HDR video, improved dialogue, on-demand display options, and potentially better reception, all for free with an antenna. Stations in 46 US markets are now broadcasting at the new standard, covering nearly half of the United States, with dozens more markets through 2022.

But before you accept the hype and buy compatible TVs or tuners, keep in mind that NextGen TV is still cutting edge technology and broadcasters have yet to realize its biggest benefits. As I wrote last year and the year before, most antenna users can leave ATSC 3.0 out of their cable-cutting plans for now, even if it’s something to keep an eye out for in the future.

NextGen TV updates for 2022

Today, ATSC 3.0 is top of mind thanks to CES, the technology industry’s annual trade show where major TV manufacturers announce new products. The big news for this year’s ATSC 3.0 is that Hisense include ATSC 3.0 tuners on most of its upcoming ULED televisions, becoming the fourth television manufacturer to support the new standard, and the first not to be an original sponsor of the standard.

“We are very excited that Hisense is a new entrant, because it is a vote of confidence,” said Anne Schelle, CEO of Pearl TV, a broadcast industry trade group.

uled lineup Hisense

Hisense offers ATSC 3.0 tuner support on many of its ULED 2022 televisions.

Still, ATSC 3.0 remains focused on mid- and high-end TVs. While Sony has brought NextGen TV tuners to all of their TVs, LG and Samsung reserve it for their premium OLED and Neo QLED TVs, respectively. Meanwhile, Hisense is omitting ATSC 3.0 from its less expensive U6H ULED televisions and its lower budget non-ULED televisions. Other value-oriented TV vendors, including Vizio, TCL, Toshiba, and Insignia, haven’t announced NextGen TV support at all.

A new deal between Pearl TV and chipmaker MediaTek could help bring ATSC 3.0 to cheaper TVs by speeding up development, but Schelle said that won’t happen until next year at the earliest.

“I think the hockey stick environment starts in 2023, and it really increases in 2024, and we think by 2025 it will be very difficult to buy a TV without NextGen,” he said.

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