Tablo weighing options as next-generation broadcast TV signal looms

Nuvyyo, a manufacturer of popular over-the-air DVR boxes targeted at cord-cutters, says it’s exploring the possibility of supporting the next-generation ATSC 3.0 standard in its hardware, according to a report.

This week, Nuvyyo CEO Grant Hall told freelance technology journalist Jared Newman that the Canadian company is focused on its current lineup of Tablo DVR models but is exploring the possibility of including tuners and chips that would pull both existing ATSC 1.0 and future ATSC 3.0 signals in simultaneously.

Full-power television broadcasters in the United States switched from analog signals to ATSC 1.0 digital ones in 2009, allowing broadcasters to air high-definition programming and digital only multiplex channels on a single frequency.

 

The next generation of signal, ATSC 3.0, has been in development for a few years and promises to deliver ultra high-definition (UHD), or 4K, broadcasts along with targeted local messages like emergency alerts. Dozens of stations across more than 60 TV markets have promised to launch ATSC 3.0 signals by the end of the year, though whether they’ll broadcast programming in 4K/UHD remains to be seen, and there’s no mandate for stations to switch from one signal to the other (the FCC has required stations that do launch ATSC 3.0 signals to also support the older ATSC 1.0 standard until at least 2023, though Newman says that date could be pushed back farther).

Currently, no television set sold in the United States or Canada is capable of receiving ATSC 3.0 signals, and it isn’t clear when TV sets with integrated ATSC 3.0 tuners will be offered.. Standalone hardware from an assortment of manufacturers have been announced that would allow consumers to receive the signals through a converter box similar to those offered when broadcasters switched from analog to digital signals.

Thanks for reading and supporting The Desk. If you have a question, comment or news tip, send a message by email or text, or connect on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Also, check out our new membership service The Desk: Pro Access for exclusive reporting, news scoops and in-depth analysis.