Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Seattle radio cluster – news KOMO-AM/FM, hot AC “Star 101.5” KPLZ-FM and talk KVI – are now a branch of the roll-out of its STIRR XT digital audio service using the ATSC 3.0-based digital TV broadcast standard.
Audio channels on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s over-the-top internet service STIRR XT have been accessible for customers with a NextGen TV linked to the internet since December 2020. The audio channels comprise STIRR XT-branded stations Stingray Hits List, Stingray Hot Country, and Stingray Latin Hits, together with a dozen others.
The company’s transmit radio stations would now be accessible on NextGen TVs as part of STIRR XT. As said by Mark Aitken, Senior VP, Advanced Technology, for Sinclair plus President of ONE Media 3.0, the roll-out is more than just an additional access point for viewers of the stations.
“One of the causes we are doing this is since the automotive guys constantly ask: ‘Is there an option to digital radio [and] to SiriusXM that could be delivered through the ATSC 3.0 standard?’” he informs TV Technology.
The company expects the ATSC 3.0 radio broadcasts would attract automakers to comprise 3.0 receivers in future models. “We consider there is a really convincing reason to consider the addition of ATSC 3 receivers in cars,” Aitken says. “When you have done that, all of the other prospects for what could be carried in that digital spectrum open up.”
The 3.0 radio simulcast, which is slotted to start in mid-February, will only be accessible via NextGen TV sets. Though, Sinclair Broadcast Group is emerging its Mark One Smartphone, which has an integral 3.0 receiver, TV Technology reports. The phones join other 3.0 customer devices in development, which would expand the reception of OTA 3.0 digital audio to mobile devices.
Sinclair is in negotiations with other broadcasters about simulating their radio stations over the air through ATSC 3.0 with STIRR XT in other markets.