Gray rolls out advanced features with NextGen TV

By NewscastStudio

Gray Television has announced several key initiatives to continue its rollout of NextGen TV in its market.

Earlier in April 2024, Gray’s NBC affiliate WAVE in Louisville, Kentucky, became the first affiliate of a major network to broadcast all of its programming using high dynamic range with Dolby Vision and immersive sound using Dolby Atmos.

The “always on” feature ensures that all of WAVE’s local and network content, including extended coverage of the Kentucky Derby leading up to the race on May 4, 2024.

“With HDR and immersive sound, WAVE’s programming will pop. Viewers will immediately notice the enhanced contrast between the brightest and darkest colors on the screen,” said John O’Brien, WAVE’s general manager, in a statement.

Gray’s advances with the ATSC 3.0 standard are not limited to Louisville.

In Las Vegas, Gray’s Fox affiliate KVVU was the first commercial television station to launch as a NextGen TV virtual broadband IP channel in December 2023. Earlier this month, the station also became the first FOX affiliate and first NextGen TV virtual channel to broadcast its entire programming schedule in HDR with Dolby Vision.

“For many years, broadcasters have been promising to use NextGen TV to bring superior picture quality and immersive sound to viewers. Gray is proud to be among a handful of leading broadcasters who are now delivering on that promise. Our stations in Louisville and Las Vegas are just the beginning of Gray’s efforts to launch more of its NextGen TV stations with these innovative, consumer-pleasing features throughout the summer and into the fall,” said Pat LaPlatney, Gray’s president and co-CEO.

In addition to advanced picture and sound quality, Gray also is using NextGen TV to offer new interactive and streaming services for viewers.

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KVVU and KCTV, in Kansas City, Missouri, are among the first to offer a portal to access a free, live streaming news service providing a new public service to viewers in Gray’s markets.

In those markets, the company has introduced portals to access Gray’s local news-focused national streaming service, Local News Live.

“In the coming months, Gray anticipates it will use NextGen TV and the RUN3 Platform to offer more innovative and interactive features for its viewers, including start-over, interactive gaming channels, and much more,” said Rob Folliard, Gray’s senior vice president and currently the chairperson of NextGen TV consortium PearlTV. “With the strong penetration of NextGen TV capable television sets in the country, we expect consumers will increasingly recognize how NextGen TV will improve their experiences even more than our industry’s transition from analog to (digtal) fifteen years ago.”