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Everything You Need to Know About the Television’s ‘NextGen’ ATSC 3.0: Technology

Everything You Need to Know About the Television’s ‘NextGen’ ATSC 3.0: Technology


LG ATSC 3.0 announcement
(Image credit: LG)

Advanced Television System Committee (ATSC) president Madeleine Noland recently reminded the standards body’s membership that “every technology transition has its challenges.”

Indeed, 2023 was perhaps the most challenging year for the ATSC 3.0 standard overall. But she was specifically speaking of LG’s recent decision to stop including ASTC 3.0 tuners in future OLED smart TV sets after the company lost a relatively small patent case against Maryland-based tech company Constellation Designs. 

Constellation was awarded $1.68 million in damages associated with its ATSC 3.0 patents and LG reported that the required royalty payments going forward would drive up the cost for including a ATSC 3.0 tuner in each set from $3 to $6.75. NextGen sets generally start at about $599.

In a letter to the FCC, LG said, “This decision was not made lightly, because LG has been a vocal ATSC 3.0 advocate, a strong supporter of local broadcasters and a leading developer of television products with the latest NextGen TV technologies.”

In fact, LG Electronics made a big splash at CES 2020 as one of the first TV makers to integrate ATSC 3.0 tuners into its sets. 

LG complained about “companies like Constellation Designs that are not participating in the main patent pools for ATSC 3.0 technology,” saying they’re not committed to licensing their IP on “reasonable and nondiscriminatory” (RAND) terms.

LG left the door open for reintegrating the tuners in future lines, so perhaps they were just making a stand on the principle of the matter. But it’s safe to assume that a company of that size wouldn’t just abandon a wildly popular consumer electronics product line in the run-up to Christmas if it were a profitable business, especially over such a small cost increase. 

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