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CES: New TV standard released

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The Advanced Television Systems Committee has approved the release of ATSC 3.0, a range of TV standards that will give broadcasters the ability to deliver 4K Ultra HDTV and interactive services using a mix of Internet and broadcast connections.

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has commemorated the achievement of a major milestone in TV history, with final member votes being tallied for approval of remaining standards that together comprise the ATSC 3.0 suite of next-generation TV standards.

Announced at CES 2018, running at Las Vegas, the release of ATSC 3.0 is the culmination of a five-year effort to re-think over-the-air broadcast television service in the Internet age. ATSC 3.0 provides broadcasters with remarkable flexibility and new market opportunities through enhanced transmission and reception functionality and delivery of 4K Ultra HDTV, immersive audio, and interactive services using a mix of Internet and broadcast connections.

Marking the milestone today at CES, ATSC President Mark Richer was joined onstage by Consumer Technology Association President and CEO Gary Shapiro, National Association of Broadcasters President and CEO Gordon Smith.

“Our suite of ATSC 3.0 standards paves the way for a new kind of television service, one that is far more flexible and adaptable than previous standards. ATSC 3.0 will bring historic innovations to broadcasters and to viewers, from robust transmission to immersive audio, and from 4K Ultra-HDTV to interactive services and more. The 20 individual standards that comprise the release of ATSC 3.0 will give broadcasters the ability to utilize new transmission methods and finally bring together innovations in both over-the-air and broadband services,” said ATSC President Mark Richer.

“ATSC looks forward to continuing work on the standard, including its deployment in initial markets and future enhancements. We remain uniquely positioned to support the first trial launches of ATSC 3.0 services and products beginning this year. In addition to our ongoing standards work, the ATSC has a very important role in educating stakeholders about how the technology works and assisting in implementation planning in the U.S. and other parts of the world,” Richer said.

South Korean broadcasters initiated ATSC 3.0 broadcast service focused on Ultra HDTV last year and plan to transmit next month’s XXIII Winter Olympics in PyeongChang using the new standard. American broadcasters hail the new standard and its Internet Protocol backbone, which opens the doors for new opportunities.

Marriage of Broadcast and Broadband

“Broadcasters stand ready to take full advantage of the capabilities of the new voluntary standard, which can seamlessly mix both broadcast and broadband content to deliver enhanced information and entertainment for our viewers. One of the most compelling new features of ATSC 3.0 will be the rich media emergency alerting capabilities, allowing local broadcasters to target viewers in specific areas in their markets when disaster looms. Our viewers depend on their local stations for breaking news and information, and ATSC 3.0 gives local stations the ability to merge resources and information like never before,” said Gordon Smith, President and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters.

With the release of ATSC 3.0 on the opening day of CES 2018 in Las Vegas, the technology industry looks ahead to the new year. ATSC 3.0 is expected to be demonstrated in private suites and in various behind-the-scenes demonstrations at the annual CES, with consumer products more likely to be introduced in 2019 or 2020.

“Coupled with the latest innovations in display and audio technology, Next Gen TV, powered by ATSC 3.0, will offer a breathtakingly immersive viewing experience with access to an array of innovative and interactive information services,” said Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association. “While we forecast sales of digital displays to increase in 2018, we anticipate future growth will be driven in part by this exciting new technology and the amazing features it brings.”

U.S. Deployment Begins Soon

“Going forward, I see the ATSC as an important information center for broadcasters and manufacturers preparing to launch services and products,” said ATSC Board Chairman Richard Friedel, Executive Vice President and General Manager for FOX Networks Engineering & Operations. “That means exciting opportunities for our members to get engaged in field testing, broadcast trials and plug-fests this year. There will also be opportunities to contribute to important new work on conformance and compliance, privacy and security, and more.”

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Kia makes car audio personal

KIA Motors has revealed its Separated Sound Zone (SSZ) technology that allows each passenger of a vehicle to experience an audio stream tailored to their individual needs.

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SSZ technology creates and controls the acoustic fields of the car, allowing the driver and each passenger to hear isolated sounds. The many speakers installed in the vehicle feature technology that uses scientific principles to reduce or increase audio levels of sound waves. This negates the overlap of sounds being heard in each seat, creating the same effect as current noise cancellation systems, but without the need for headphones.

“Customers in the autonomous navigation era will demand increasingly customisable entertainment options within their vehicles, which includes technological innovations such as the Separated Sound System.” says Kang-duck Ih, Research Fellow at KIA’s NVH Research Lab. “I hope by providing drivers and passengers with tailored, independent audio spaces, they will experience a more comfortable and entertaining transportation environment.”

People’s musical tastes vary, so some passengers choose to use headphones during a journey to isolate their audio stream, but this also creates an unnecessary social barrier when interacting with other passengers. When travelling in a vehicle equipped with next-generation SSZ technology, each passenger can connect their smartphone via Bluetooth and listen to their own music without interference from, or interfering with other passenger’s audio streams.

When the SSZ is utilised, hands-free phone calls can also be isolated to individual passengers, ensuring privacy when having important phone conversations on the move.

Furthermore, this ground-breaking technology can eliminate unnecessary sounds for the passenger, but provide them for the driver. Navigation sounds, or various alerts, allow the driver to focus on controlling the vehicle, while the SSZ system isolates these sounds, maintaining a quiet area for the other passengers. This has a particularly strong application for drivers with a sleeping child in the vehicle.

SSZ technology has been in development since 2014, and the completed mass production system is expected to be ready for installation in vehicles within one to two years.

For a video of Separated Sound Zone technology, please visit https://youtu.be/lokXL8qyu1c.

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Future of TV in 4 letters

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Television technology has come a long way, transforming not just the way we consume our entertainment, but also the formats in which media is broadcasted or streamed. Today, TVs can do a lot more than just display our favourite shows, says DEAN DAFFUE, GTM manager at LG Electronics SA.

Today, consumers demand TVs that are not just slim, but so thin that they are like paintings on walls. TVs have become an element of décor that can seamlessly integrate into the design of a home, and render the clearest, sharpest images, with the deepest blacks and crispest whites without compromising on resolution. Home cinema is not just about the picture anymore. Consumers are eyeing TVs that would be able to learn usage patterns and automatically suggest entertainment based on individual preferences. The switch from LCD to LED transformed TV design, allowing for lighter, thinner and easily wall-mountable frames, housing even more sophisticated display tech. The picture quality also dramatically improved with new contrast ratios rendering more vivid colours, deeper blacks and crisper whites. But they were still more functional than aesthetic.

As larger segments of the population embraced internet connectivity and streaming content, the TV became smarter, integrating content-streaming apps for a more seamless viewing experience. As Internet Service Providers (ISPs) upgraded their infrastructures to accommodate the growth in streaming services, TV manufacturers also upgraded their TVs’ ability to tap into different types of content.

In the future, TVs with built in Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be able to learn usage patterns and automatically switch modes based on user preference, and even take instructions from multiple users as TVs become increasingly connected to digital home assistant systems.

Six years on, and we see the evolution that continues to lead in the OLED TV market, LG is racking up awards and accolades for its innovative OLED TVs. This pioneering effort in the design and manufacturing of OLED TVs has culminated in complete dominance of the OLED market, leaving the pinnacle challenge of innovation in display technology, redefining the TV viewing experience, and its place in your home. Great efforts have been made on OLED technology being affordable and accessible, allowing more people to enjoy a better-quality television experience than before. No TV is a greater testament to this than last year’s award-winning LG SIGNATURE W7 – also known as wallpaper.

As South Africans are continuously looking for ‘an experience that amazes’, OLED TVs are considered by industry experts to offer the most advanced display technology. As each pixel on the display can be individually switched on and off, OLED offers enhanced picture quality without image degradation. This results in the highest quality image rendering with the purest blacks. With its myriad advantages, OLED panels have become the most desired display technology today and it has become a leading force in making this technology even more ubiquitous and accessible.

With support for both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, LG OLED TV is the first of its kind to offer a premium cinema experience in the comfort of your home. It also features Active HDR technology, which optimises HDR picture quality scene-by-scene, rendering brighter scenes and greater shadow detail for a life-like viewing experience.

Despite the market dominance, the development of newer, more innovative technologies does not stop. This year a staggering number of innovative display technologies were unveiled, such as future display technology like roll-able OLED screens and large format curved displays that will become the future of wall art.

AI is also set to make an appearance. There is a unique and personalised AI services built on the deep learning-based DeepThinQ technology, in cooperation with other AI service providers such as Google, giving AI TVs the ability to automatically adjust the settings to Game Mode, or Sports Mode based on whether a user is currently playing Xbox or watching a football match. Ultimately, AI TV will provide care and comfort to users’ mind and body by learning more about its users’ viewing habits.

What does this all mean for consumers? With continued innovation and development of display technologies, as well as advanced design, AI, premium audio integration and support for the latest resolutions, colour and High Dynamic Range (HDR) standards, the TV will no longer be a display, but a complete home viewing experience. This is what new ranges of OLED TVs will bring to fruition in the coming months, making it the ideal time to upgrade your TV to the ultimate home entertainment experience.

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