Television Jamaica Limited (TVJ) has launched NextGen TV broadcasts, making Jamaica the third country in the world to have launched ATSC 3.0 signals.
Jamaica joins South Korea and the United States as the only nations to adopt and launch an ATSC 3.0 digital terrestrial television service.
TVJ commissioned the service into action in keeping with the Government’s 2021 announcement that the switch over process should commence by local broadcasters in January 2022.
TVJ said it is now making TVJ, TVJ Sports Network, Reggae Entertainment Television and Jamaica News Network, with the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica to be added shortly, free to consumers.
Gary Allen, CEO of the RJRGLEANER Communications Group, of which TVJ is a member, said the company had invested about J$12 million in the project.
“We have to give kudos to our regulators, the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica and the Spectrum Management Authority, who at the highest levels have been supportive and enabling in getting to this point,” Allen said.
Transmission sites being commissioned into service
TVJ, which in December became an official member of ATSC Inc, has commenced consultations with US and South Korean experts, as well as with local television set retailers, advertisers and other stakeholders on the next steps, which will see up to 20 similar transmission sites being commissioned into service, to achieve the 95 per cent coverage of Jamaica that is targeted.
In a switching-on ceremony at its Lyndhurst Broadcasting House facility in Kingston, Robert Morgan, minister with responsibility for information, officially switched on the TVJ NextGen service just after 6.30 pm local time on January 31.
Morgan emphasised that, “what TVJ and the RJRGLEANER group have done is not only invested in its own business, but it has invested in the digital future of Jamaica…I am impressed with the commitment shown to making government policy a reality”.
Noting that the installation was carried out by an all-Jamaican engineering team on the ground, Morgan said this move shows that Jamaica has the capability to give strong leadership in the digital world.
TVJ General Manager Claire Grant said she and the TVJ team members were excited to be a part of this history-making activity which ushers in the newest global television technology with the most significant technological changes in almost half a century.
According to her, “both picture and sound will be the best that television has ever had; TV service will be available on some mobile devices without needing data; advertising can be targeted to specific areas and viewership figures can be received in almost real time; emergency warning messages will be embedded and through their home antenna consumers will get multiple channels free of charge. Importantly, we will be able to provide even more FREE platforms for rich, relevant, homegrown content”. Our.Today