ATSC 3.0 is a major update of the ATSC standards and was created by the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC). ATSC 3.0 will support mobile television, 3D television, 4K UHD, high dynamic range (HDR), high frame rate (HFR), and wide color gamut (WCG). ATSC 3.0 comprises around 20 standards covering different aspects of the system and in total has over 1,000 pages of documentation. South Korean broadcasters began ATSC 3.0 operations in February 2017.
ATSC 3.0 is optimized to support highly flexible Distributed Transmission System (“DTS”) network architectures, which will dramatically improve signal reception in indoor and outdoor environments, including small portable devices and mobile receivers. As such, ESI is designing its network deployment to optimize mobile performance as a core capability. The protocols implemented in the new broadcast standard are very similar to those used in 4G cellular networks, but optimized for broadcasting over a much larger area, due to the relatively higher transmission power levels, and thus requiring far fewer transmission sites compared to traditional cellular network base stations. As a result, the company’s new wireless network will be the lowest cost provider of video content connecting directly with the consumer while providing both live, IP format television broadcasting/streaming and a new parallel path for Over-The-Top (OTT) internet digital video files
In addition to changes in broadcast technologies, a new era is dawning in the digital media industry, and the unicast Internet is simply not sufficient to meet the burgeoning demand for video services. Currently, OTT internet video (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, CBS, HBO, etc.) is streamed to end user devices in unique one-to-one “unicast” sessions. Over 70% of current internet traffic is OTT video, and, at any given time, this consists of a relatively small number of newly released programs and popular mass appeal trending videos. As a result, a very large fraction of the internet’s capacity is being used to simultaneously transport millions of copies of the same content, just slightly time shifted. ESI will greatly reduce this massive data transmission inefficiency by combining its ATSC 3.0 network with newly available low cost storage to “multi-cast” the most in demand videos and store them in consumer edge devices (caching set-top boxes and mobile phones and tablets). Instead of a video being transported millions of times on demand, it will be transmitted once across ESI’s entire network, and stored locally in millions of edge devices. The video then only needs to be “released” from its DRM protected storage when the viewer wants to watch it. ESI can broadcast 7-10 TB/month of content per station, which equates to 2,300-3,300 hours of HD video per month.
ESI’s ultimate goal is more reliable and higher quality playback of the video content requested by the consumer. Because ESI playback originates in the edge device, there is a short and reliable path to the viewer's screen. This is in direct contrast that to the standard client/server relationship between the consumer's device and distant cloud server(s) that requires streamed content to traverse the Internet. As a result, ESI's direct playback is more reliable and much faster responding than playing content that is streamed from a cloud server over a multi-hop path that is prone to dropped packets and delays.