Category Archives: TV

AC4 Audio And ATSC 3.0

AC4 Audio and ATSC 3.0

There is a new digital TV standard coming.  It is called ATSC 3.0 or NextGen Tv.  ATSC 3.0 uses AC4 audio as its codec.

Most TV markets have at least one ATSC 3.0 channel.  Where I live it is 125.11 PBS, Greenville, NC.  I have a tuner capable of ATSC 3.0 and I supposedly have a TV capable of AC4 audio.  So everything should be hunky dory, right?  Wrong.

No sound.

But John, it says right in the LG specs for this specific TV that it supports AC4 audio.  What gives?

AC4 Audio

TV Specs

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Over The Air TV ATSC 3.0

Over The Air TV ATSC 3.0

NextGen TV Explainer Page FAQPeople don’t think much about their TV tuners.  If you go to buy a TV you’ll see plenty of buzzwords like LED, QLED, or 4K but not much discussion on the tuner itself.   And usually not much about ATSC 3.0.  It is also referred to as NEXTGEN TV.

The current broadcast standard is called ATSC or Advanced Television Systems Committee.  That is a series of standards for digital TV broadcasts.  In Europe, their system is called PAL.  Most TV’s in the US meet the ATSC 1.0 standard however a newer standard, ATSC 3.0 is slowly rolling out.

Someday, your ATSC 1.0 won’t work for you anymore although that day seems to be down the road a ways.  Many TV markets have rolled out at least one ATSC 3.0 channel while simultaneously broadcasting an ATSC 1.0 signal.

And of course you won’t get the benefits of that crisp, more powerful, higher resolution signal unless you have a tuner or TV capable of decoding it.   Where I live there is one NEXTGEN TV signal and it is a local PBS channel.  They also still broadcast in ATSC 1.0 and likely will for years. There doesn’t seem to be any danger of any other channels rolling out in the immediate future.
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