Inside WRAL

Olympic media get sneak peek at next innovation in video

Posted February 15, 2018 6:47 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 9:56 a.m. EDT

Olympic athletes are always on the cutting edge of technology in their sports, so it makes sense that the Olympic experience should be cutting-edge as well.

A technology we're working on at WRAL is front and center at the PyeongChang Games.

A shuttle bus that wends its way through the coastal Olympic region carries more than international media covering the games. It carries the next generation of television receivers on board. Known as ATSC 3.0, it's a new TV signal, a new way receive TV over the air, no cable needed.

"Overall the pictures are just stunning, and everyone seems to be excited about it," said Pete Sockett, WRAL's director of engineering.

"It's a great new technology that allows us to send 4K video, immersive sound audio and object audio, where you can turn up the voice and not the background."

WRAL has been experimenting with the technology since 2016. Korea TV began broadcasting it nearly a year ago.

Eventually it may allow for two-way interactive video over the air to your TV at home or over the air to your mobile device.

"It is really going to make a difference in the way we broadcast television and how we interact with the viewer at home," Sockett said.

In South Korea, the bus displays make it simple for writers and reporters from all over the world to stay connected to the Games while they move about the city.

Consumer devices to receive the new signal are expected to be available in the US by 2019. So far, it seems the technology is working well in Korea.

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