Howard University’s WHUT, two local network affiliate stations and two owned- and-operated network stations have launched NEXTGEN TV, a new digital broadcast technology based on the same fundamental technology as the internet and digital apps.
Viewers in the Washington metro area can now find five channels over-the-air for free with NEXTGEN TV: WHUT-TV (Howard University, virtual channel 32; PBS); WJLA-TV (Sinclair Broadcast Group, virtual and VHF digital channel 7; ABC); WRC-TV (NBCUniversal, virtual channel 4, UHF digital channel 34; NBC); WTTG (Fox Television Stations, virtual channel 5, UHF digital channel 36; FOX); and WUSA (TEGNA, virtual and VHF digital channel 9; CBS). Howard’s WHUT will convert to the NEXTGEN TV standard and host the other four stations.
The Howard NEXTGEN TV Broadcast Collaborative is a project developed in partnership with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) that includes a learning lab where the technology at the forefront of the rollout is developed and demonstrated, underscoring the prominence of its public and commercial collaboration.
Sean D. Plater, general manager, WHUR 96.3 and WHUT-TV, Howard University, commented: “Just as technology changes all around us, from our phones to our cars to our homes, NEXTGEN TV is the technological evolution of free broadcast television. By connecting the IP and broadcast television infrastructures together, we’re able to give viewers a better and more engaging content experience. Viewers across the Washington DC region will be excited to not just watch, but also lean in and be more engaged with their content.”
Sam Matheny, executive vice president and chief technology officer, National Association of Broadcasters, added: “The Media Technology Innovation Learning Lab is already living up to its purpose — to foster participation and show how the myriad capabilities of NEXTGEN TV can best be applied for future public service, entertainment and information objectives.
“We have tremendous pride in Howard University student Sulaiman Bastien as the first college student in the world to create a NEXTGEN TV app. As the rollout continues, the Lab is poised to replicate more stories of innovation and produce a vibrant ecosystem of broadcasters and app developers.”
Patrick Butler, president and CEO of America’s Public Television Stations, added: “America’s Public Television Stations congratulate WHUT, Howard University, the National Association of Broadcasters and Pearl TV on the official launch of this extraordinary new NEXTGEN TV Broadcast Collaborative. WHUT and Howard University are enhancing the rich public television tradition of education and innovation, and we couldn’t be prouder of their commitment to educating the next generation of leaders in our industry and to providing an exciting array of new NEXTGEN TV services to the people of the Washington, DC region.”
NEXTGEN TV is the evolution of over-the-air (OTA) broadcast television and is the first major overhaul to the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s standard for receiving OTA signals in 25 years. Enabling two-way interactivity and applications with internet connection the new standard offers viewers more localised news and entertainment choices, while providing broadcasters with a more compelling and interactive way to deliver their content.
It can deliver consistent volume, added voice clarity with Dolby’s Voice +, 4K, High Dynamic Range (HDR) video, enhanced internet content on demand, advanced emergency alerts and information, and dual language capabilities.
NEXTGEN TV is a feature built into select new TV models manufactured by LG Electronics, Samsung and Sony. While features will vary by sets and by broadcasters as commercial service becomes available in local markets, any television purchased today with a NEXTGEN TV logo will keep in step with future technology enhancements.