New broadcast antennas don't tend to command a lot of attention these days, but LG has unveiled a new smart antenna that could help bring those over-the-air signals into a new era. The ATSC 3.0 wireless network antenna takes next-generation broadcast signals and redistributes them throughout the home via Wi-Fi.
The antenna would be able to receive signals using the next-generation ATSC 3.0 digital broadcast standard, which has been under development for two years. ATSC 3.0 will be capable of combining more data and interactive features, 4K UHD and better reception on mobile devices. The ATSC 1.0 standard is currently used in North America, while most of the rest of the world uses other standards like DVB-T.
LG's smart network antenna is built upon the world's first ATSC 3.0 demodulator chip.
"Innovations like the LG smart network antenna will play an important role in accelerating the consumer adoption of ATSC 3.0 by enabling existing devices in the home and reducing the need for multiple converter boxes," said Anne Schelle, Executive Director of Pearl TV, a consortium of US television stations.
The LG antenna is based on a uni-directional array of antennas with electronic steering logic that the company says is designed to optimize indoor reception, allowing for the unit to work from nearly any location inside a home, with no need for roof mounting.
LG says an integrated network interface communicates with the Wi-Fi router in the home, allowing connected devices to "blend ATSC 3.0 signals and services with over-the-top Internet-delivered content." The antenna can also receive current ATSC 1.0 broadcast signals and route them to consumer devices in a similar fashion.
Development of the ATSC 3.0 standard is still in progress, and it's not yet clear when it could be deployed or when LG's antenna could be available for consumers.