ARK Multicasting, a low power television broadcaster and nationwide leader in Broadcast Internet technology, has deployed its first ten stations with ATSC 3.0 technology to enable Broadcast Internet connectivity. The new ATSC 3.0 TV standard enables broadcasters like ARK the opportunity to convert traditional television signals into wirelessly delivered IP content, dubbed Broadcast Internet. ARK is leading the transformation from a traditional TV broadcaster to a wireless data delivery platform that offers streaming services, distance learning, gaming, and cloud services.
With 283 lower power television licenses and construction permits throughout the United States, ARK Multicasting is ideally positioned to offer Broadcast Internet services to millions of households utilizing ATSC 3.0 technology.
“Broadcast Internet – because of its one-to-many architecture – is ideally suited to move large amounts of data to tens of thousands of consumers at the same time. Our network has the potential to increase the efficiency of 5G wireless networks, enable autonomous vehicles and provide farmers with precision agriculture technologies,” said ARK CEO, Josh Weiss.
The first two stations will be completed in December in Dallas, Texas and Panama City, Florida. The remaining 8 stations will begin broadcasting in ATSC 3.0 by the end of the first quarter in 2022. These stations include College Station, Texas, Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Pensacola, Destin, a second station in Panama City, Jacksonville, and Melbourne, Florida.
ARK has partnered with leading cloud computing and broadcast equipment suppliers to bring its Broadcast Internet technology online.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise provides infrastructure, software and services that together make up the edge-to-cloud platform for ARK’s Broadcast Internet service. “We see ARK as a pioneer in the broadcast internet business and laud their approach for delivering content to homes that lack sufficient connectivity. Thanks to our best in class ATSC 3.0 compliant blueprint, we can help them deliver the broadcast core network controlling all stations, and orchestration services, as well as enabling the introduction of additional compelling use cases,” said Paolo Ceccherini, worldwide business lead, digital video solutions, at HPE Communications Technology Group.
“Comark Digital Services and Transmission teams are very happy to be part of helping ARK bring a new business model through the development of ATSC 3.0 to the market, ARK is unique among broadcasters as it is one of the only companies in the industry devoting substantially all of its spectrum to broadcast Internet and we are excited for the future opportunities this can bring,” said Jason Fiore, Director of Sales and Business Development.
Staging, burn-in, and deployment services will be completed by General DataTech, Inc. “GDT is proud to be a part of the ARK Multicasting family as we partner to bring ATSC 3.0 to the market. With our partnership, ARK be one of the largest broadcasters in the United States focused on helping bring highspeed internet and distance learning capabilities to rural America,” said Thomas Ducatelli, CEO of GDT. ARK has also selected GDT for operation services going forward and through these services, ARK will be able to manage the entire end-to-end environment.
ARK Multicasting is deploying an open, standards-based solution from Triveni Digital that will include the SkyScraper® XM ATSC 3.0 Datacasting System, along with ATSC 3.0 Broadcast Gateway scheduler, GuideBuilder® XM ATSC 3.0 Transport Encoder, and StreamScope® XM Analyzer. The Triveni Digital solution will run in a virtualized environment to ensure high scalability for ATSC 3.0 service delivery.
“We are excited to help ARK Multicasting explore the treasure trove of datacasting applications available in the ATSC 3.0 environment with our field-proven SkyScraper XM datacasting system” said Ralph Bachofen, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Triveni Digital. “In the decades of experience Triveni Digital has in both traditional broadcast and datacasting, there are few things that compare to the excitement I feel about what ARK is deploying. They are true pioneers in this space and Triveni Digital is pleased to be right alongside them,” Bachofen continued.
“Since initially working with the team at ARK Multicasting in the early days several years ago, Ateme has focused efforts around expanding the ATSC 3.0 markets with our compression solutions and knowledge throughout this industry, becoming a leading voice for ATSC 3.0, and working with key partners to grow this space,” said Dave Brass, Vice President of Strategy and Market Development for Ateme. “We’re highly motivated to work with the visionaries at ARK and all the partners on this project.”
“Most people don’t think of broadcast television as a wireless service provider, but that is about to change and ARK is at the forefront,” said Mark O’Brien, President of SpectraRep, the distance learning provider being deployed on the first 10 stations. “Remote learning, public safety, and other datacasting mainstays are taken to a whole new level, and new services that we have not even imagined are now possible. SpectraRep is proud to share ARK’s vision and be part of this historic NextGenTV deployment.”
ARK has selected Digital Alert Systems for emergency alerting. “It’s so gratifying to be part of ARK Multicasting’s unique business model, which transforms a traditional low power broadcaster into a key component of the internet ecosystem,” said Bill Robertson, vice president of business development for Digital Alert Systems. “There’s almost no better company to showcase all of DASDEC’s capabilities. And with 300 stations around the country, ARK Multicasting represents a big opportunity for Digital Alert Systems as they convert more and more of those stations to ATSC 3.0 and meet their EAS obligations while also improving the efficiency of the internet.”
ARK Multicasting’s first 10 deployment of ATSC 3.0 are just the start of an ambitious buildout schedule for the low power broadcaster. Pending supply chain availability, ARK intends to deploy ATSC 3.0 to its entire footprint in the next 18 months bringing Broadcast Internet connectivity to more than 100 million Americans. Business Wire