We Went Hands-On With 3.0 OTA TV at CES

One of the hottest topics in cord cutting right now is the new 3.0 over-the-air TV standard. This new standard brings a ton of new features and better coverage.

Yesterday at CES we meet with Pearl TV, a group working on 3.0 OTA, which will be part of the 3.0 testing later this year in Phoenix. Pearl TV members include 220 network-affiliated TV stations and consists of eight of the largest broadcast companies in the US: Cox Media Group, the E.W. Scripps Company, Graham Media Group, Hearst Television Inc., Meredith Local Media Group, Nexstar Media Group, Raycom Media, and TEGNA, Inc.

During our meetings, we got a first-hand look at ATSC 3.0 OTA working in the wild at CES. Here is what we learned.

Channel Guide

The new 3.0 OTA standard will have a channel guide, even if you do not have home Internet. The guide you see above is a test version that may look different when it hits your home in a year or two.

There is a full blown guide as you see above, but they are also testing a smaller guide to show a handful of channels on the bottom third of your TV. You will also be able to click on a show to learn more about it.

During our demo, Pearl TV said they are looking at finding more ways for you to watch. If you miss a show, you could go back to find an on-demand version whether that be through the 3.0 on-demand feature or streaming through the network’s app.

Personalized Ads

If you decide to opt-in to personalized ads, you will be able to pick what kind of ads you want to see. With these personalized ads, you will be able to click on an action button and get a personalized coupon or other offer when you see something you want.

These coupons right now come as QR codes that you can scan with your phone and download. Other options like text messages and emails are being considered. Again, this is an opt-in type system.

These ads will also be hyperlocal. No longer will you see ads from a few towns over!

Note: The images you see here are an early beta and will look different when the service goes public.

Emergency Alerts

With 3.0 OTA you can use your TV like a weather radio. You will be able to get custom local emergency alerts and even have your TV turn on if there is a tornado, for example.

Many readers expressed concerns about their TVs turning on at all hours of the day. This system is an opt-in system that you will need to set up.

4K & On Demand

With 3.0 OTA you will be able to get 4K free over the air and streamed if you connect your Internet to your TV.

The best part is you will also get the ability to access on-demand content streamed online from your local TV station on top of the content that is free over the air. This will give you access to a wide range of content, from movies to full seasons of shows, depending on what your local affiliates want to offer.

Note: Again images you see here are an early beta ment to show off what 3.0 can do and will look different when the service goes public.

The Equipment Behind 3.0 OTA

Just for the fun of it… here is a photo of the equipment that is used to broadcast 3.0 OTA running right now at CES.

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