Public TV stations that are integrating datacasting and next generation television capabilities are taking giant leaps forward.
Datacasting turns a portion of public TV broadcast spectrum into a new secure wireless data network. Next generation television changes the way digital broadcasts are created and delivered by adding internet-based content to form a flexible and expandable platform for TV viewing. Datacasting and next generation television go where broadband does not reach.
Next generation television enables enhanced picture quality and sound plus interactivity for new kinds of programming and data services. Recent advances in LoRaWAN technology create a potential return path solution for datacasting that enables it to be two-way.
Datacasting and next generation television can be leveraged to advance several critical policy areas, including immediate distance education, school safety, public safety communication redundancy, transmission of emergency alerts and wireless alerts to the general public, expansion of broadband, telehealth, workforce training, and precision agriculture. They are both scalable, flexible, and economical because they utilize pre-existing tower, power, and backbone infrastructure.
Use cases for datacasting have been illustrated across the United States:
- Nevada – Workforce training and development in Las Vegas
- California – Statewide early warning system for earthquakes
- Utah – Statewide telehealth network
- Indiana – School safety in Adams County
- Iowa – Monitoring soil moisture, pest control, and application of herbicides and fertilizers for precision agriculture purposes
- South Carolina – Statewide remote learning platform for K-12 students
- Texas – Crowd monitoring and event management in Houston
- Tennessee – Statewide emergency management system
Next generation television is built on the same internet protocol that runs the worldwide web, which will ease innovation and product development on the platform, and make it easier for broadcast programming to show up not just over-the-air but on mobile devices, connected TVs, and PCs. Next generation television is currently being rolled out in the 40 largest markets in the United States.
Public television has a longstanding tradition of embracing new technology and successfully adopting it. Datacasting and next generation television serve the public good and represent the next phase in TV’s evolution.
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