On June 20, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly announced the granting of a special license allowing MSU and WKAR Public Media (East Lansing) to launch an experimental Next Generation TV broadcasting station. Based on the ATSC 3.0 digital TV standards, NextGen TV adds internet-style information and interactivity, plus advanced technologies such as 4k ultra high-definition video and multichannel, immersive audio, to over-the-air television broadcasts.
The announcement was held at a press conference at the WKAR studios in East Lansing.
WKAR will be the first public broadcasting station in the U.S. to receive FCC authorization to begin experimental ATSC 3.0 broadcasts.
With the experimental ATSC 3.0 station as a testbed, MSU will open the NextGen Media Innovation Lab, a new research facility alongside WKAR studios in the Communication Arts and Sciences building on the MSU campus.
The lab will serve as a collaborative research hub exploring the potential of ATSC 3.0, with an emphasis on outcomes related to traditional public media content, such as education, health, local news and emergency alerting, plus new areas such as connected vehicles.