NAB has partnered with News-Press & Gazette (NPG) to host the fifth Next Generation TV interoperability event (InterOp). The goal of an InterOp is to exercise different features of the ATSC 3.0 standard using various combinations of broadcast equipment and consumer Next Gen TV receivers to resolve any potential issues thus helping to facilitate consumer adoption of ATSC 3.0.
Due to COVID-19, it was impossible for all participants to travel to the U.S. Thus, a virtual InterOp facility was created by NPG. The signal from their Santa Barbara, Calif., Next Gen TV station has been made available via the internet for consumer device manufacturers to test their receivers.
One of the constraints found with previous InterOps was that we had to stick to a specific schedule to complete all the planned test scenarios, for example, in one week. Virtualizing the InterOp accommodates participants in multiple time zones around the world. Thus, a specific test scenario can run for as long as needed until all participants collectively agree to proceed to the next test. Below is an interactive dashboard created by NPG so participants can view the current test configuration and system parameters.
The focus of this InterOp is to expose consumer devices to what they will likely encounter from a real-world Next Gen TV lighthouse station including real time closed captions, audio description and different physical layer configurations. The InterOp started in mid-March and will continue through the end of summer.