The new over-the-air broadcast standard ATSC 3.0, also known as NextGen TV, is on its way. A handful of TV stations in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Portland, Oregon are scheduled to go live in late May and early June, respectively, with another 38 markets slated to be up and running by the end of 2020.
ATSC 3.0 unlocks a bunch of goodies for broadcast TV, including 4K HDR resolution, Dolby Atmos and DTS-X audio, better reception, and even on-demand programming. We’ve got a full ATSC 3.0 explainer for more info.
To access ATSC 3.0 you’ll need an antenna (if you already have one, it will work just fine, but if you need one, here’s our list of the best antennas), but you will also need a TV or set-top box with an ATSC 3.0 tuner built-in. You’ll also need to be in a market in which ATSC 3.0 is offered — we’ve covered all the details on how to get ATSC 3.0.
Presently, the market for set-top tuners that lets existing 4K TV owners access the new broadcasts doesn’t look too bright. But, there are about 20 TV models that will have the tuners already baked right in. Here’s a complete list, updated as we learn more from TV manufacturers.
Three of LG’s OLED series support NextGen TV in 2020, with a total of six models from which to choose. The GX or Gallery Series (55-, 65-, and 77-inch sizes), WX or Wallpaper series (65- and 77-inch sizes), and 8K ZX (88-inch size) are in LG’s top-tier and will support the feature, while the CX and BX models do not.
At $2,500, the 55-inch GX OLED is the least expensive LG option for accessing ATSC 3.0 broadcasts.
Only Samsung’s 8K QLED TVs will support ATSC 3.0 NextGen TV. The included series are the Q800T (65-, 75-, and 82-inch sizes), the Q900TS (65-, 75-, and 85-inch sizes), and the Q950TS (85-inch size), for a total of seven options.
At $3,500, the 65-inch Q800T is the least expensive Samsung option for ATSC 3.0 compatibility.
The only confirmed Sony TV model that will include an ATSC 3.0 tuner is the X900H. This may seem interesting since, presumably, the X900H is a step-down model from the more expensive X950H, but this is the direction Sony has chosen to take this year. The X900H will be available in four screen sizes (55-, 65-, 75-, and 85-inch variants) ranging in price from $1,200 to $3,500.
At $1,200, the 55-inch X900H is the least expensive TV on our radar that supports ATSC 3.0 NextGen TV and at $3,500, the 85-inch X900H is the most affordable large-screen model to incorporate the new tuner technology.
At the end of June, Vizio unveiled its 2021 lineup of TVs, including new QLEDs with 3,000 nits of eye-searing brightness and the company’s first ever OLED set, which promises to be a game-changer. None of the sets support ATSC 3.0, however. “Our product teams are constantly evaluating new technologies that will enhance our product experience, and could incorporate them in future releases,” a company spokeswoman told Digital Trends.
We have not received formal announcements from TCL, Philips, Hisense, or other TV manufacturers as to whether any of their models will include ATSC 3.0 tuners for access to NextGen TV. That could change, however, as many new models have not been formally launched or shipped yet. So stay tuned … we’ll keep you informed!
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