Public Media Company is partnering with Michigan State University to use WKAR as an experimental ATSC 3.0 next-generation TV broadcasting station.
The designation for WKAR comes as Public Media Company is working with a group of 24 public television stations, known as the Public Media Venture Group, to develop, test and deploy new ATSC 3.0 services.
WKAR is a public radio and public television station owned and operated by Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences, serving the East Lansing community. WKAR recently launched the PBS Kids Playtime Pad Research Project, an outreach and research partnership that brings together PBS Kids, MSU researchers and the Lansing School District in a multiyear initiative to provide an educational gaming tablet for kindergartners in Lansing, Michigan.
“Next Gen TV has great potential to enhance how public media serves its communities,” said Prabu David, dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, in a statement. “MSU and WKAR intend to extend our leadership in local media and education research and development to study this extremely promising technology in depth and in the field.”
As part of the ATSC 3.0 tests, MSU will open the NEXTGEN Media Innovation Lab, a new research facility to serve as a collaborative hub for work on ATSC 3.0. Early projects from the lab will focus on the use of next-gen media to improve childhood education, testing new models of intervention for elementary math and literacy.
The research lab will allso help public television stations test ATSC 3.0 applications and develop business- and mission-linked opportunities
“It’s a wide-open field,” said Marc Hand, co-founder and CEO of the Public Media Company, in a statement. “Deploying our partner WKAR as a test site for Next Gen TV is just one demonstration of how Public Media Company and the Public Media Venture Group intend to move aggressively to leverage Next Gen TV to benefit communities across the U.S.”