Local TV | OTA

What the New 3.0 Over the Air Broadcast Standard Means for Cord Cutters

The FCC is set to meet this November to vote on what will ultimately prove to be the most impactful decision impacting cord cutters since the ruling on the current “over the air” (OTA) broadcast standard.

ATSC 3.0 Next Gen OTA TV

The current standard, ushered in on June 12, 2009, established the standards by which we enjoy full HD with surround sound via  free signals that come to our homes over the air.

This broadcast standard, known as ATSC 1.0, is about to be upended by ATSC 3.0 (we are completely skipping 2.0 because technology has moved beyond it faster than it could be implemented).

It’s not expected to come to early-adopters in the US until 2019 at the earliest, so you’ll be able to enjoy your current OTA TV tech until then and beyond.

The 3.0 standard has the capacity to deliver much richer visuals in higher resolution, more dynamic sound and most importantly deeper and wider color via “High Dynamic Range” (HDR).

What will you need to enjoy all this newness? You’ll just need an ATSC 3.0 compatible TV or a set top box that contains the necessary signal decoder and a TV that supports the HDR standard. Your existing antenna will work fine. Actually it should work even better since the new broadcast standard is more robust than what we currently have.

So, get ready cord cutters, its a bright future for free over the air TV.

What do you think? Hit the comments below and share your opinions:

  • Update: Since this article was written the ATSC 3.0 standard has been passed and test market trials are already under way. Look for products, streaming devices and TVs to begin touting “ATSC 3.0” compatibility soon. The future looks bright for consumers cord cutting options. ATSC 3 has a real chance to turbocharge the OTA antenna market and local TV as a whole.