ATSC 3.0 and Public Broadcasting: A Case for Flash Cut

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Originally Aired - Saturday, April 15   |   11:30 AM - 11:50 AM PT

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ATSC 3.0, often referred to as “NEXTGEN TV,” is gaining traction and is now, or soon will be, broadcasting in over 60 markets in the United States. There are many challenges for broadcasters to adopt this technology. For many broadcasters, and significantly for Public Broadcasters, there may not be a simulcast partner in their markets to continue ATSC 1.0 transmissions while deploying ATSC 3.0 operations.

  • This paper identifies many of the legal, technical and audience challenges faced by stations considering a “flash cut” transition option to ATSC 3.0.
  • After identifying the challenges, this paper looks at the process to initiate a flash cut and steps that may be required to bring the ATSC 3.0 technology to markets that otherwise will have to wait an undetermined amount of time.
  • The paper will focus on markets served by PBS North Carolina and Iowa PBS, but the criteria used could easily be adapted to other markets and Public Broadcast state networks.

Presented as part of:

Next Gen TV Adoption


Fred Engel
Chief Technology Officer
PBS North Carolina
Bill Hayes
Director of Engineering
Iowa PBS
Don Smith
Director of New Technologies, Compliance and Planning
PBS North Carolina