cbt618 us heads for great video divide nab

America is heading towards an inequitable video divide where future video services will only be available to those with economic power, warns the head of the American National Association of Broadcasters, Gordon Smith.

Smith, speaking at the NAB Show in Las Vegas in late April denounced recent FCC policy decisions  which he claimed had “unwittingly put us on an unnecessary collision course toward two Americas — one where the video future is available to those who can afford to pay and one where they cannot. "

In his opening address at the conference Smith  said that free broadcasting is a public service that “should be cherished by the FCC, rather than ensuring its availability only to the wealthy."

Spectrum auctions began in America last month  which could signal that broadcasters would have to move their channels to make room for the wireless carriers.

The NAB chief asserted that  "there is no higher and better use of spectrum than serving diverse audiences with free and local TV programming for all citizens."

He also addressed the development of ATSC 3.0, a next-generation broadcast standard that was being demonstrated at NAB.  A petition had been filed by NAB, along with consumer electronics, public safety and public television advocates, asking the FCC for approval on this standard, allowing stakeholders to “voluntarily choose” to adopt it.

He claimed that the ATSC 3.0 standard had the potential to make TV “even stronger,” with options such as Ultra HD images, immersive audio, personalized services and interactivity.

“The new standard is designed to better align broadcasting’s broadly deployed, spectrally efficient and free service with an increasingly IP-based world, enabling broadcasting to more easily integrate into a wide array of popular devices," said Smith.

He added that if successful,  the new standard would drive competition with other wireless services and video and data providers.

“This is an exciting time for the broadcast industry.


Next-Gen TV will provide broadcasters with the voluntary option of offering a higher-quality viewing experience, an IP-based infrastructure and greater interactivity with viewers. We believe our viewers will be the beneficiaries of new services ranging from breathtaking picture quality to in-depth emergency alerts and more personalized program content,” he said.




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