The future of TV is here: NEXTGEN comes to Local 4 and Detroit

Are you familiar with NEXTGEN TV? (Provided by the NEXTGEN TV team)

Have you heard of NEXTGEN TV? If not, then buckle up, because you’re about to learn a thing or two.

NEXTGEN TV, also known as ATSC 3.0, is the latest digital television technology. It combines over-the-air broadcast with the internet. It’s the new, modern signal standard for broadcast TV. (If we lost you at “ATSC 3.0,” don’t worry about what the acronym stands for. We’re about to explain everything you need to know).

NEXTGEN rolled out in Detroit earlier this year. Now that the holidays are here -- and perhaps you’re starting to do some Black Friday-related browsing? -- we thought it’d be the perfect time to explain NEXTGEN, especially for anyone who might be in the market for a new TV.

When you watch with NEXTGEN, it takes your TV-viewing to the next level. You’ll experience stunning video with brilliant color, sharper images and deeper contrast that will make you feel like you’re really there. You can feel the power of movie theater-quality sound that lets you hear every voice clearly and offers consistent volume across channels. It’s a whole new ballgame.

NEXTGEN TV, when combined with an internet connection, can merge broadcast TV with content from broadband sources such as live sports, events, news and more, in real time. With NEXTGEN, your TV is designed to be upgradable with the advancements of tomorrow.

We realize we’ve now touched on some of the key benefits and features, but here’s a little more, if you’re curious. When it comes to ...

Brilliant video

We already mentioned the brilliant color, sharper images and deeper contrast. NEXTGEN video capabilities include 4K compatibility, ultra-HD and HDR. Ultimately, this means better pictures: Better visual clarity and a wide color gamut that you’re not used to seeing.

Enhanced audio

Ready for the future of TV? (Provided by NEXTGEN TV)

If you’ve ever longed for consistent volume across channels, it’s about to become your reality, with NEXTGEN. There’s also something called “Voice +” dialogue enhancement, which allows you to hear every voice clearly. Voice + is available the moment the NEXTGEN TV is set up.

Interactive and personalized content

Whether you’re watching Local 4, the Detroit Lions game or another live event, enhancing TV with internet content will be a new and cool experience. At WDIV, we’ll be able to personalize our news and shows with interactive features.

This is the first broadcast signal to leverage the internet.

It’s upgradable for the future.

When you buy a NEXTGEN TV, it’s designed for upgrades. That means TV manufacturers can update NEXTGEN TV sets connected to the internet to accommodate emerging features that will be launched by broadcasters over time. Pretty neat, right?

Robust broadcast signal

NEXTGEN TV broadcasts are even more robust than current over-the-air signals, so an indoor antenna will work fine for most viewers to receive a signal, the company said. This will reduce broadcast interruptions, too. So there should be no more losing your signal due to the weather outside. (And it’s all seamless, meaning, you won’t have to do anything -- your signal will be better than ever).

Sounds impressive, right?

We’ll continue on with a few FAQs from the company and our own parent company’s tech experts.

Why is it launching now, and why does it matter?

It’s time for an improved audio and video experience. Essentially, this brings broadcast TV into a new age. It’s built off the recently developed ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard.

When you look at the evolution of digital broadcast over time, the last time we transitioned was in 2009.

Some of us had to rescan our TVs in recent years, as well.

It might not feel like a long time ago, but 2009 almost was like a different life, technologically speaking: 3G was all the rage, and it marked the first full year of Apple app store.

“The 2009 digital transition felt like a big deal at the time, but we were still relatively limited in terms of technology,” Graham Media Group lead developer Michael Newman said. “And before that, not much had changed since the 1940s.”

This NEXTGEN wave will be a fundamental shift, but won’t feel like a big impact to consumers like it did in 2009, Newman added.

Next time you buy a TV ...

You’ll definitely want to look for that NEXTGEN logo.

After all, this is the next incremental upgrade in televisions.

We’ll all have one eventually, Newman said, and on Local 4′s end, we’re excited, as broadcasters, to make this a better viewing experience for you, our loyal watchers and users. This new technology will be an enhancement of our broadcast stream, and it will take you further as engaged viewer.

NEXTGEN estimates that most local broadcasters should be “on the air” with the new technology to reach most viewers in America by the end of 2021.

What do I need in order to watch NEXTGEN?

Again, look for brands with the NEXTGEN TV logo. Many new television sets from LG Electronics, Samsung, and Sony already come equipped with NEXTGEN TV. More TV manufacturers are expected to offer this technology in the future. An antenna and internet connection will give you access to the full range of capabilities.

Do I need an antenna?

Yes, you’ll initially need an antenna to receive free, local channels that are broadcasting NEXTGEN TV. Standards are in the works so that cable companies can also offer NEXTGEN TV services in the future.

Do I need internet access?

While you can certainly receive NEXTGEN TV without being connected to the internet, most people who bring home a new NEXTGEN TV will connect to broadband internet so they can enjoy the rich assortment of shows that are streamed to viewers. If you’re connected to the internet, NEXTGEN TV will deliver an even better experience -- and remember, it’ll be enhanced over time.

Want to learn more? This website will be able to answer any more questions you have. We’re excited for this next chapter and hope you are, too!