NextGen TV (ATSC 3.0) Coming Soon to Central Ohio

Unlike the FCC mandated conversion from analog television to DTV and HDTV back in 2009, broadcasters have been quietly updating TV infrastructure to offer enhancements made possible by Internet video innovations.  This is marketed under the name NEXTGEN TV, also known as ATSC 3.0 (tech overview video).

The first advantage is that it’s a free over-the-air (OTA) broadcast (TANSAAFL), just earlier analog TV, DTV, and HDTV.  No need for cable, satellite, or streaming service bills – everyone near the transmitter can see the same content.

Another benefit is that it’s wireless.  This makes it a great compliment to wired streaming services.  If your cable or internet service is down due to a storm, you’ll still be able to access live news and entertainment – with no buffering, even during peak viewing hours, and in any weather.

One of the most noticeable benefits to consumers will be the increased picture quality with 4K UHD resolution (supporting HDR) and theater quality sound.

As time passes, we’ll see more and more TVs and devices shipping with ATSC 3.0 support built-in. As long as your TV is 4K and you already have an antenna capable of receiving the DTV signals in your area (typically UHF), you can simply purchase a NextGen TV tuner like the HDHomeRun Connect 4K (which can also stream received content to a wide variety of devices) and be ready to receive these broadcasts as soon as they’re available in your area.

I’ve seen a variety of deployment maps and timelines. Most suggest that ATSC 3.0 will become available in the Columbus market starting in 2020, but I’ve reached out to local stations and here are their planned NextGen TV conversion dates:

WCMH – No response.

WSYXDecember 3, 2020 @ 10:00 AM EST.

WBNS – No response.

WTTE – Estimated in January 2021.

WOSU – No response.

WWHO – No response.

I plan to update the info above as I receive more info.

Ohio Cities Extorting Non-Resident Non-Workers

As covered extensively in the paywalled Columbus Dispatch article “Should you pay commuter taxes while working from home? Republicans say no, cities say yes” (where by “Cities” they mean Democrats), with the advent of COVID-19 the Ohio State Legislature is aiding and abetting a money-grab for unionized workers of large cities.

Ordinarily, Cities claim that a person working within the imaginary lines that define their corporation gives them the authority to seize a portion of any income earned within that city to fund “services” the city offers in return – whether they are used or not.

Under COVID rules though, many employees have been re-assigned to work locations outside of these cities.  They do not enter the City’s imaginary corporate boundaries, so they place no burden on Police, Fire, or other resources.

To maintain political power, politicians in control of Cities wish to keep their politically influential City employee unions senselessly staffed at pre-COVID levels – lack of demand for services be damned.

Their solution to this is to pretend that COVID never happened.  They’ll just keep tax-extorting people who haven’t worked within their fiefdom for months.  Meanwhile, the victims of their extortion racket are unable to benefit from access to their hard earned money for COVID-related expenses that can’t be imagined away.

As the Dispatch article mentions, The Buckeye Institute is going to bat for affected Ohioans in Franklin County Court case 20 CV 004301 (you’ll need to agree to the courts terms before visiting the link to see the content).

As Sen. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) said in the dispatch article “What’s to stop Akron from taxing you or Youngstown? It’s unconstitutional, I believe, to tax someone who does not work or reside in their territory.”