As of Monday (April 11), all seven full-power TV stations in the Richmond-Petersburg, Virginia, market are broadcasting in the ATSC 3.0 (NextGen TV-branded) transmission standard, but with five of those stations piggybacking on the other two.
In addition to supporting 4K HDTV picture quality, the standard allows for accessing enhanced internet content, targeted advertising and enhanced emergency alerts, among other things.
WRIC (ABC), WTVR (CBS), WWBT (NBC), WRLH (Fox), WCVE and WCVW (PBS), and WUPV (CW), will all be broadcasting in ATSC 3.0. Gray Television‘s WUPV and VPM Media's WCVW have converted to ATSC 3.0, but will also be delivering the NextGen TV versions of the other five stations.
The Federal Communications Commission has allowed for such agreements to further the new standard while making sure that viewers without new TV sets or converters — the standard is not backward-compatible to ATSC 1.0 — can still get a signal. All the stations will continue to broadcast in ATSC 1.0.
BitPath led the coordination of the piggybacked launches. ▪️
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.