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What NextGen TV Means for Public Broadcasters

Learn more about next-gen TV at Streaming Media East 2022.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Myra Moore: With ATSC 3.0, you have so much more capacity on your 6mHz of spectrum. What are you gonna fill it all up with?

Susi Elkins: Well, I think what's exciting is that probably for each broadcaster at each station thinking about public broadcasters, the answer will be different. What's really great about our public broadcasting system is that we all create based on what our community needs and it's different across the country. But I think people will be thinking about, do we add more channels? Do we take some of that capacity and really build in that interactivity piece? Do we carve some of that out for spectrum-based businesses and services that we wouldn't have been able to do before? I think there will be some regulatory work that needs to happen for some of those things to happen, but but when it comes to like core content creation, I think that's really where our heart is and where we wanna create more and new types of content with matched services.

And some of the ways we've been thinking about it, I can speak just for us. I got really excited thinking about what it means with open-source databases that are available. And so, as I was thinking about what the technology allows us to do.. We do debates. A Strong service from a local public broadcaster is to provide governmental debates of people running in elections. And I think it would be an incredible service to load in the backend. Traditionally, we would say, we have these candidates speaking; here are their profiles online. Here's their voting records, go find all of that kind of stuff. But as a producer, you could really take existing information and make that part of the broadcast and part of the piece.

So we created a sort of a test case where if we were at a debate and a candidate was talking about their voting record, or their record on gun rights or those kinds of things, it could be immersively bringing that information up in a way that I wouldn't even think about going to check on. So you could do a lot of real-time fact checking.

There are things that we kind of do right now already, but I just think that this will be a much more immersive experience when you think about that. I think there's a lot more educational type content that we can think of. Frontline is always way out in front doing really incredible things with technology. I can't wait to see what they come up with when it comes to next-gen. There's some new content that they're creating right now using augmented reality and and databases and to me, it's the perfect test case for next-gen, and I hope that's the next iteration of where they go.

As public broadcasters, we also want to entertain as much as any broadcaster. It needs to be fun. It needs to be educational. It needs to be informative. And I think we are still learning what the technology could do, but we'll probably have a balance between services that we provide in our local communities, maybe with municipalities smart city technology, those kinds of things and potentially more channels, certainly hopefully much more robust and interactive content.

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