ATSC 3.0 Means Better OTA TV

Improved Free Over-The-Air TV May Benefit RVers

This new OTA television standard promises many improvements over the current free Antenna-TV and two features are significant for the average Boondocker or RVer.

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TV reception in an RV is at best acceptable, but more often non-existent. Particularly, when your home-on-wheels is parked far out-of-town or at that boondocking spot,

where nobody comes, receiving one or more TV channels is usually not an option. With a better signal and a reason to provide a better coverage by local TV stations, the benefits for campers appear to be substantial.

In addition, support for mobile devices may add free services to your existing cell phone.


What is ATSC 3.0 ?

  • 3,840 x 2,160 resolution (4K or UHD).
  • Ability of higher resolutions in the future.
  • H.265 compression.
  • Up to 120fps frame rates.
  • HDR (high-dynamic range) and wide color gamut.
  • Improved audio.
  • IP-based transmission (options for encryption and access restriction).
  • OTA (over the air) supported by Internet.
  • Support for mobile devices.

While the ATSC 3.0 standard hasn’t been finalized yet, several TV stations around the country have been testing the broadcasts and the first compliant TV’s will appear in the stores by 2020.

We all thought that 1080p HD was all we needed, but now we’ll be looking at a 4K (UHD) screen with possibly higher resolutions in the future. But that’s not all; improved color, frame rates up to 120fps, improved broadcast technology and a H.265 codec are only some of the upgrades. and it is all free! Well…

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OTA broadcast was one of the last bastions unmonitored entertainment, unless you were using a smart TV with an Internet connection. That could be past time, and custom ads may start appearing and encryption could make things even worse.

It is still uncertain, if local TV stations will embrace the technology and invest in new equipment, but they would have an incentive to do so, with possibly wider audience, improved picture quality and new ad revenue.

A cell phone enabled, built-in TV receiver could make things even more interesting, but unlikely to be approved by the current carriers. On the other hand, WiFi enabled external tuners would local TV available all-around your RV.

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