Dozens of expert viewers – visiting Cleveland during July to experience first-hand field testing of enabling technologies for the ATSC 3.0 Candidate Standard – were treated to a special demonstration of AWARN, the Advanced Warning and Response Network. It was hosted by Cleveland CBS affiliate, WOIO-TV, a Raycom-owned member of Pearl TV, in cooperation with Capitol Broadcasting’s WRAL-TV from Raleigh, N.C.
By DOMINIC MANCUSO
General Manager, WOIO-TV
The ATSC 3.0 next-generation standard that will improve digital television’s transmission capabilities will make possible important enhancements to one of broadcasting’s most critical benefits – the ability to reach millions of people, all at the same time, with a single transmission. There’s no waiting, no buffering, and no clogged networks. Over-the-air free TV delivers when it counts.
Broadcasters throughout the country are saving lives every week – sometimes with weather reports, other times with public safety announcements, news, traffic conditions, and crucial information about disasters or matters of homeland security.
Here in Cleveland, a big concern is snow – and in particular the “lake effect” that can result in snowfall that rivals what Boston went through this winter. Natural and man-made disasters are also a concern. We have two nuclear plants within 100 miles of downtown Cleveland. And even with the waterfront, tornadoes are also a summertime concern.
WOIO-TV and the other local broadcasters in Cleveland are vital links to our viewers. While we’re keeping a constant vigil on the skies, our viewers know that they can trust us to have the latest information. And they don’t have to worry about slow Internet service or an overloaded phone network.
That’s one thing that won’t change with the transition to ATSC 3.0. From what I understand, the role of local stations will be even more important. Phone networks will continue to experience overload problems, but with ATSC 3.0 AWARN will bring rich media alerts, maps, live video, audio, text, and more to viewers.
That will help bring our local stations even closer to the communities they serve.