News-Press & Gazette fires up ATSC 3.0 in small market Santa Barbara

The ATSC 3.0 Hub at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas. (Ben Munson/FierceVideo)

News-Press & Gazette is turning on ATSC 3.0 next-generation broadcast TV in one of the nation’s smallest markets: Santa Barbara, California.

NPG is teaming up with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Pearl TV business alliance of broadcasters to launch the new ATSC 3.0 standard in Santa Barbara on KSBB-CD.

NPG chose Santa Barbara for several reasons, including the multiple natural disasters that occurred in California over the last two years. "This new standard will allow us to deliver highly localized news and emergency information to an even wider variety of devices. That means faster alerts when there is potential danger,” said NPG co-owner Eric Bradley in a statement.

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“Thanks to help from the NAB, the Pearl TV alliance, GatesAir, Unisoft Corporation, TitanTV and Triveni Digital NPG’s KSBB-CD ATSC 3.0 transmitter is live on-the-air and is ready to deliver to our community. We look forward to future partnerships with technology companies, content providers and community partners to leverage the strengths of this innovative technology,” said Jim DeChant, vice president of technology for NPG Broadcasting, in a statement.

At the same time, more stations are coming online in the Phoenix ATSC 3.0 test market established by Pearl.

"We are delighted to learn this week that the FCC is granting authority for ABC affiliate KNXV, NBC affiliate KPNX, CBS affiliate KPHO, Independent KTVK, and PBS station KAET to utilize the transmission facilities of ATSC 3.0 station KFPH-CD in collaborative testing. This is a very positive step forward and we are grateful for the authority to move the Phoenix Model Market project forward," said Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV, in a statement.

The FCC last year granted authority to broadcasters to begin deployments of the ATSC 3.0 standards, but for now the licensees are still experimental.