Why your new TV may soon be worthless

If the TV industry has its way, that new TV you just bought will be worthless soon.

At a session of the National Association or Broadcasters event today, CEO Gordon Smith urged TV broadcasters to put up a unified fight for a new TV broadcast standard, called ATSC 3.0. It uses Internet and cellular systems for TV transmission instead of antennas on tall towers.

This week, the Sinclair broadcast group announced creation of a political action committee to help influence lawmakers to adopt the standard, which will cater to immersive audio, interactivity, multiscreen viewing, mobile devices and hybrid services.

“Broadcast television depends on mass market deployment. When consumers buy a TV at a retail store, they should be able to get all of the broadcast channels…and they should be able to receive broadcast service anywhere they are in the country,” Smith said in his speech today.

Sound good?

TV Technology provides the downer:

He touched on the necessity of reception. TV manufacturers are now required by law to make sets that decode and display ATSC over-the-air signals. It has already been determined that ATSC 3.0 will not be backward-compatible with the current standard, so TV sets in existence today will not work with it. The ATSC and NAB will need both the Federal Communications Commission and the Consumer Electronics Association on board to get ATSC 3.0 decoder and tuner chipsets into new TVs.

TV Technology said the government is not likely to fund any sort of conversion box as it did when it mandated broadcasters begin transmitting with digital signals. “Consumers then will have to either buy a new TV or subscribe to some type of subscription pay-TV or OTT service, it said.