SK Telecom, Sinclair Broadcast in ATSC Tech Joint Venture
Korea’s SK Telecom and Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the largest TV broadcasting companies in the U.S., have announced the signing of a joint venture agreement to develop and commercialise broadcasting solutions based on ATSC 3.0 transmission standard. The two companies will jointly fund and manage a joint venture company within the first quarter of this year.
ATSC 3.0 is the latest version of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) standard. It will support several advancements including mobile viewing, 3D television, 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD), high dynamic range (HDR), high frame rate (HFR), and wide colour gamut (WCG) picture quality, as well as immersive audio.
The commercialisation of broadcasting solutions based on ATSC 3.0 will enable services such as personalised advertisement and in-vehicle terrestrial TV broadcasting and map updates. It will also support two-way communication between broadcasting companies and user’s smartphone/vehicle/TV by recognizing user’s personal IP address.
SK Telecom and Sinclair anticipate all television broadcasting stations throughout the U.S. will adopt broadcasting solutions based on ATSC 3.0 within the next decade. Through the joint venture company, the two companies plan to actively provide ATSC 3.0 standards-based solutions to all U.S. broadcasting companies and seek other opportunities globally.
The joint venture agreement follows last year’s memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between SK Telecom and Sinclair at CES 2018 to jointly develop leading technology for ATSC 3.0 broadcasting.
“SK Telecom will work closely with Sinclair Broadcast Group to gain leadership in the next-generation broadcasting solutions market in the U.S.,” said Park Jung-ho, President and CEO of SK Telecom.
“Sinclair is excited to partner with SK Telecom, a wireless technology leader, to explore and commercialize solutions that optimize the economic value of our spectrum, our broadcast infrastructure, our programming ventures and our emerging OTT platforms. Bringing these assets together in a converged broadcast/broadband platform environment will be a significant value multiplier,” commented Chris Ripley, President and CEO of Sinclair.
The two companies have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with audio technology developer Harman which will see the three companies collaborate on building an advanced automotive platform based on ATSC 3.0 to enable drivers to experience in-vehicle HD terrestrial TV broadcasting, secure firmware updates, HD map updates and V2X certificate management via terrestrial digital broadcasting facilities operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group throughout the United States. The technology will also be deployed in other geographies as local broadcast facilities become available. The companies also plan to seek joint business opportunities in the global automotive market.
The companies intend to unveil their automotive platform and related equipment and services for the first time at the NAB Show in Las Vegas in April 2019.
“Mobility and media are core business areas that will undergo innovative changes in the 5G era,” said Park Jung-ho, President and CEO of SK Telecom. “With Harman and Sinclair Broadcast Group, SK Telecom will target the mobility and media markets in the U.S. and expand into the global market.”
“Today’s pervasively connected cars are becoming just one more personalized mobile device that consume data to deliver a maximum safety and reliability and an optimized user experience,” said Dinesh Paliwal, President and CEO of Harman. “ATSC 3.0 will bring a high-value option for bulk data communication, which can supplement conventional 4G and 5G mobile data networks, We are pleased to work with two industry powerhouses in partnership to bring this powerful technology to the market.”
“With this announcement, Sinclair is continuing to partner with market leaders to further develop next-gen broadcasting solutions,” said Chris Ripley, President and CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group. “We are excited to be working with Harman and SK Telecom, two prominent international technology leaders, to progress ATSC 3.0 automotive solutions and experience. This collaboration focuses on developing key mobility enhancements of ATSC 3.0 as a potential value creator for Sinclair and other U.S. broadcasters.”
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