Transitioning Stations in a Market to ATSC 3.0 (page 56)
Unlike the transition from analog to digital that the industry experienced between 1996 and 2009, the transition from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0 will not be supported by the use of a second channel for each station. A solution to this problem lies in a fundamental aspect of the spectrum repack, with the option for stations to enter a channel sharing agreement (CSA) and share the same spectrum. This option, combined with a future transition to ATSC 3.0, can lead to a number of interesting scenarios that will benefit all participants.
A group of industry leaders and experts have put together a concept of temporary channel sharing that supports the creation of an initial ATSC 3.0 station known as the “Lighthouse Station” that will seed the market with 3.0 services coming from multiple stations in that market.
This of course requires a business collaborative between partner stations involved in creating this “Lighthouse Station.” An ideal theoretical model would be collaboration among the five primary network stations in a single market. The Lighthouse Station will have its ATSC 1.0 signal carried by the other partners in the business collaborative.
It should be noted that the current ATSC 1.0 PSIP system can support this channel sharing by preserving the stations’ branding and recognition of the virtual channel. It will, however, require that consumers rescan their receiving devices when a station shares its ATSC 1.0 stream for the first time.
Over time, as ATSC 3.0 consumer receiving devices are widely deployed, additional stations within the lighthouse collaborative will convert their transmissions to ATSC 3.0, while the remaining stations carry some of the services from the converted stations in ATSC1.0. As more stations are converted to ATSC 3.0, the available payload capacity will allow the converted stations to carry many of the services outlined in this Guide.
When consumer adoption of ATSC 3.0 is sufficiently high, all stations in the market may want to convert to ATSC 3.0. One possible option is for the last station in the market to remain on ATSC 1.0 for a period of time while carrying services from each of the converted stations. This concept of a “Night Light Station” would provide some ATSC 1.0 service, thus not stranding any consumers who don’t have ATSC 3.0 receivers.
It is most likely that WNYO-49 will be Buffalo's Nite Lite Station, the last station providing an ATSC 1.0 signal to the Buffalo area. WUTV-29 would probably be Buffalo's Lighthouse Station. (The Lighthouse Station would be able to broadcast all of the area's stations on a signal frequency but each station will be distributed on different channels. Sample channel lineups: 49-1 WNYO 49-2 WUTV 49-3 WIVB 49-4 WGRZ 49-5 WKBW 49-6 WNED