Five Local Stations Bring Enhanced Video, Audio and Upgradeable Technology to their Free, Over-the-Air Services
CHICAGO—(February 5, 2024)—Viewers in America’s third-largest television market can now experience the future of broadcast television as five stations join to launch NEXTGEN TV in Chicago. NEXTGEN TV is a revolutionary, free digital broadcast over-the-air technology that utilizes the internet and digital applications powered by the ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard to present viewers with more news and entertainment choices while providing broadcasters with a more compelling and interactive way to deliver their content.
Chicago viewers can now access five channels over-the-air for free with NEXTGEN TV, including:
- CBS’ WBBM-TV (CBS, channel 2);
- FOX’s WFLD-TV (FOX, channel 32);
- NBC’s WMAQ-TV (NBC, channel 5);
- WGN (WGN, channel 9); and
- Univision’s WGBO-TV (Univision, channel 66).
Local viewers can easily tune to each station for information about accessing NEXTGEN TV locally, rescanning information and how to purchase the right television set to receive NEXTGEN TV. Viewers watching these five channels can look forward to enhanced television viewing provided by NEXTGEN TV as a complement to streaming platforms, since NEXTGEN TV is a free over-the-air service.
“America’s third-largest TV market is riding the NEXTGEN TV wave, with the addition of new capabilities for broadcasters and viewers. We’re especially appreciative of our partners, Heartland Video Systems and LTN and their commitment to getting broadcasters on-the-air. The momentum for NEXTGEN TV is building with TCL about to join the roster of TV manufacturers with consumer models, High Dynamic Range coming for key sports contests, and new upgrade accessory receivers for consumers in the wings,” said Anne Schelle, managing director of the Pearl TV group of TV broadcasters that coordinated the Chicago launch.
“Chicago will get the most out of live news and sports programming,” continued Schelle. “Live linear television has never been stronger in sports than it is now, and Chicago is home to a bold sports market with six professional teams spanning NBA, WNBA, NFL, MLB and NHL organizations. NEXTGEN TV will transform the fan experience with immersive features such as brilliant color and personalized, interactive bonus content.”
A feature built into select TV models manufactured by Hisense, Sony, LG Electronics and Samsung—and TCL later this year—NEXTGEN TV is widely available to consumers at retail across more than 100 models, starting at $599 and viewable at watchnextgentv.com.
While features may vary by device and broadcaster as commercial service expands in local markets, NEXTGEN TV is designed to be future proof, enabling a viewer’s television set to advance with technological improvements.
NEXTGEN TV also enables Chicago broadcasters to bolster their emergency alert information capabilities, helping to make area communities safer during natural disasters or severe weather events. The new broadcast TV standard enables improved location-targeting with future notifications sent to precise areas and viewers able to choose the language in which they want to receive the emergency information. Multimedia files can also be added, upgrading the alerts with detailed maps or images. In times of crisis, NEXTGEN TV’s sophisticated emergency alerting can enable viewers in that market to get all the information they need without affecting those not in the path of the emergency.
NEXTGEN TV, a free, over-the-air service, is the first major overhaul to the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s standard for receiving over-the-air signals in nearly 30 years.
NEXTGEN TV will make possible:
- Stunning 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) video
- Consistent volume across channels
- Dialogue enhancement
- Movie theater-quality sound
- Enhanced internet content on demand
- Advanced emergency alerts and information
- Expanded and hyperlocal news
- Dual language capabilities
The participating stations have worked together to ensure that current programming remains available to all viewers, regardless of whether their television service is provided over-the-air or by a cable or satellite company. Antenna viewers can simply rescan their TV sets to ensure full service. Rescan instructions are available at: fcc.gov/rescan. Cable and satellite subscribers do not need to take any action.
Chicago viewers can learn more about NEXTGEN TV by visiting www.WatchNextGenTV.com, which offers a guide to cities carrying the service, as well as links to available NEXTGEN TV models and upgrade accessory device options, features and retail pricing as they are certified and move into retail availability.
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About Pearl TV:
Pearl TV is a business organization of U.S. broadcast companies with a shared interest in exploring forward-looking broadcasting opportunities, including innovative ways of promoting local broadcast TV content and developing digital media and wireless platforms for the broadcast industry. Pearl’s membership, comprising more than 820 TV stations, includes eight of the largest broadcast companies in America: Cox Media Group, Graham Media Group, Gray Television, Hearst Television Inc., Nexstar Media Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group, the E.W. Scripps Company, and TEGNA Inc.
Dave Arland, Arland Communications
Phone: (317) 701-0084