On Nov. 11, 2011, television broadcasting executives, technologists and engineers met in Shanghai, China, and agreed that global cooperation is essential to developing strategies and technologies necessary to ensure the future of terrestrial TV broadcasting. During the 2012 NAB convention, the formation of the Future of Broadcast Television (FOBTV) Initiative was announced. The goals of FOBTV include development of ecosystem models for terrestrial broadcasting, development of requirements for next-generation terrestrial broadcast systems, selection of major technologies to be used as the basis for new standards and standardization of selected technologies by existing SDOs.
Global standard benefits
Development of a global terrestrial TV standard will provide significant benefits for broadcasters, manufacturers and consumers. First and foremost, a global strategy will show the commitment of the broadcasting industry to embrace new technologies that will encourage interest from global technology developers to develop next-generation products. Of course, mass production drives down the cost of professional and consumer products. As handheld and mobile devices become increasingly important as target devices for reception of terrestrial TV, it is important that these devices work as users travel across borders.
FOBTV has developed use-case scenarios from participating organizations (including those from ATSC, as described above), and is now in the process of creating a vision paper for a global end-to-end model for the next generation of broadcast television. Based upon the paper and the use cases, FOBTV will develop technical requirements and issue a Request for Proposals (RFP).
The initiative has approximately 60 participating organizations and is a voluntary, non-profit association open to any organization that signs the Memorandum of Understanding.
—Mark Richer is the president of the ATSC.