WNET Group plans New York transition to NEXTGEN TV

Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 
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The WNET Group Announces Plans to Transition to NEXTGEN TV: First Broadcaster in the Nation’s Largest Designated Market Area to Commit to ATSC 3.0 Service

  • The WNET Group NEXTGEN TV Broadcast Initiative Sets a Television Milestone and Will Offer Enhanced Service to 7.45 million TV Households

NEW YORK — A major effort is now underway to launch NEXTGEN TV service in New York City and surrounding areas – the #1 television market in the country encompassing approximately 7.45 million TV households, according to the 2021 Nielsen DMA Rankings. The WNET Group’s WLIW21 will serve as the host station for ATSC 3.0 broadcasts for the three major PBS member stations in the New York metropolitan area: THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and NJ PBS.

WLIW21 plans to sign on with NEXTGEN TV signals following extensive engineering testing and operational planning, co-location of its broadcast facilities to One World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, installation of a new transmitter and related equipment, and upgrades to the station’s physical plant, all of which have already been completed. The transition is subject to FCC approval, and The WNET Group will make a separate announcement upon the launch of the NEXTGEN TV service.

“The WNET Group is excited to announce this significant undertaking with NEXTGEN TV, which will modernize the New York City broadcast market infrastructure to deliver high-quality broadcasts with the latest technology available,” said Neal Shapiro, President & CEO of The WNET Group.

The WNET Group, which launched public television service in the New York metropolitan area in 1961, today is home to New York’s PBS stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21, operator of New Jersey’s statewide public television network NJ PBS, and Long Island’s only NPR station WLIW-FM.

NEXTGEN TV Broadcast technology is built on the same Internet Protocol backbone as popular streaming media platforms. In addition to providing better quality audio and video, NEXTGEN TV holds the promise of supporting many other digital services. The WNET Group plans to explore these future options working in close collaboration with other partners.

WLIW21 will carry high-definition programming from both WLIW21 and THIRTEEN, along with several standard-definition commercial sub-channels and the THIRTEEN PBS Kids service. As part of the transition to NEXT GEN TV, viewers may expect features including 4K, interactivity, HDR, advanced emergency messaging, additional CC and audio languages, and more, all of which are in the works.

“The WNET Group’s NEXTGEN TV Broadcast Initiative will be a shining example of how public media can lead the broadcast industry into the future. The WNET Group’s WLIW21 will help bring about the full capabilities of the NEXTGEN TV broadcast standard to the nation’s largest television market,” said ATSC president, Madeleine Noland.

Supporting organizations for The WNET Group NEXTGEN TV Initiative are listed alphabetically, below:

  • AGC Systems LLC (Aldo Cugnini)
  • AWARN Alliance
  • BIA Advisory Services
  • Centralcast
  • Lerman Senter PLLC
  • Public Media Venture Group
  • Skip Pizzi Media Consultant LLC (Project Management)

The WNET Group’s NEXTGEN TV Broadcast Initiative will be the first to put New York City among the list of nearly 50 cities where NEXTGEN TV signals are now available, as consumer technology companies expand the availability of integrated NEXTGEN TV sets and related set-top receivers.

Over-the-air viewers will need to rescan their televisions to accommodate these changes upon service launch.

Links: WNET Group