More options for cord cutters
The other upgrade UHD is waiting on is better availability of content. Cable operators have yet to make room for UHD fare on their networks, and a standard to allow over-the-air broadcasts awaits a few final decisions in the US.
“The lion’s share of the standard is done,” said LG public-policy vice president John Taylor in an interview Wednesday. “There are continuing discussions about HDR and other aspects, but we continue to expect to be wrapped up in the spring or maybe even the first quarter.”
This ATSC 3.0 standard (short for “Advanced Television Systems Committee”) has also yielded better reception of HDTV in advance tests. But existing TVs can’t tune in ATSC 3.0, only the ATSC 1.0 standard used for HDTV today. I haven’t seen any shipping sets with ATSC 3.0 built in, although LG had one prototype model set up with a test signal.
Meanwhile, broadcasters will need to make their own decisions on how to switch from the old standard to the new one, assuming the Federal Communications Commission allows them to make their own calls about that. When that option arrives, cord cutters with sufficiently reliable reception will have an even more enticing option to paying for cable or satellite.
In the meantime, set vendors are building in additional ways for watching streaming video services. The budget-priced TV brands Westinghouse, Seiki and Element areUltra High Definition