MSU partnership to prepare public broadcasters for the next generation
WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University and technology service provider Gaian Solutions will deliver an accelerator suite to allow local public broadcasters to easily adapt to the new NextGen TV broadcast technology.
The accelerator platform, dubbed Apollo PublicTV Platform, will provide local broadcasters various tools and services to facilitate smooth adaptation and content creation for the NextGen TV network.
The suite of services includes NextGen TV master classes, Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) 3.0 receiver and transmitter starter kits, access to NextGen TV broadcast chains and the capacity to conduct lab and field trials.
The platform also offers a certification programme for technology providers and business consulting services for organisations interested in launching specific market-by-market NextGen TV opportunities.
NextGen TV is an innovative step forward in television broadcasting which allows local TV stations to personalise their broadcasts with information and interactive features that are most relevant to their target audience.
This new broadcast technology is free for viewers and is based on Internet Protocol (IP) just like online video services.
It will be able to provide improved targeted emergency alert services and allow viewers to access unlimited live local and national news, sports, as well as entertainment programmes on mobile devices through enhanced mobile reception.
The Apollo PublicTV Platform will help local broadcasters to provide NextGen TV services through tools that apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning in a fully cloud-based, virtualised environment to fully digitise the broadcasting industry.
Through the platform, broadcasters will be able to offer rich content experiences catered to the new broadcast technology in areas of education, emergency alerts and news, health information, community fundraising and more.
“Putting the tools of the Apollo PublicTV Platform in the hands of public broadcasters means that local communities can begin to benefit right now from the promise of NextGen TV,” said WKAR Public Media general manager Susi Elkins during the launch of the platform.
“Barriers to moving forward immediately include a lack of significant investment and the absence of a clear migration path to NextGen TV. The Apollo PublicTV Platform partnership we’re announcing today is a marketplace collaboration designed to address those barriers. Apollo PublicTV Platform will help stations manage the convergence of operations now, to be well-positioned for the future.”
Tools included in the Apollo PublicTV Platform suite includes data analytics, app designer tools, AI agents, Software Development Kits (SDKs) and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for rapid service curation, an ATSC 3.0 receiver application stack and business applications to manage carrier-grade content services.
“The coming NextGen TV economy will ensure overall growth of the broadcast industry and its long-overdue integration with the digital transformation ecosystem,” said Gaian Solutions CEO and founder Chandra Kotaru.
“Public broadcasters are in a unique position to leverage NextGen TV opportunities. Apollo PublicTV Platform was designed to accelerate this phenomenon.”
MSU dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences Prabu David said: “The Apollo PublicTV Platform instantly opens up new opportunities and better experiences through cutting edge technology, open APIs, and toolkits.”
“Gaian Solutions has been instrumental in conceptualising, designing, developing and operating the Apollo PublicTV Platform with WKAR at MSU. We are very hopeful this will put public broadcasters at the forefront of leading innovation in the NextGen TV space.”
According to America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) president and CEO Patrick Butler, America’s Public Television Stations envisions “great potential” in the Apollo PublicTV Platform developed by Gaian and WKAR-TV.
“We look forward to working with them and with the public station community to make Apollo PublicTV Platform an accelerator of ATSC 3.0 adoption and of all the new service and revenue opportunities the NextGen broadcast standard holds in store for public television,” Butler said.
“APTS intends to play an active role in familiarising stations with the Apollo PublicTV Platform and ensuring that every station understands the transformative promise of ATSC 3.0 and the ability of Apollo PublicTV Platform to help make that promise come true for stations of every size,” he added.
WKAR, Gaian Solutions and APTS are currently inviting all content and spectrum-based entrepreneurs, digital transformation agencies, broadcasters, and technology vendors to collaborate on the Apollo PublicTV Platform.