I just read the recent message from the President of ATSC titled "Light at the end of the tunnel" where he says "we targeted the end of 2016 for most elements to be completed and the first quarter of 2017 for the complete ATSC 3.0 standard. We are in fact delivering on that timetable..." (www.atsc.org) There is a good video there too explaining ATSC 3.0.
Under ATSC 3.0, unless I misunderstand, this will make all of our devices, including TV's, useless without some external hardware like the cable companies did with Digital tuners recently. I am not sure if there could be a software update or firmware for smart tv's, tuners, etc that can be installed on existing ATSC devices or not. I am ignorant on the subject and just now getting caught up to speed and researching it.
The FCC put out a call for public comments. The Proceeding # 16-142
I think we should all comment that if they go to this standard, which seems like it may be great in the long run, and sooner than later, they should keep broadcasting for a certain period (A couple years) in the current standard while the devices, extenders, etc, get developed. Look what happened a couple years ago. All the devices that came out when the standard changed were basically low standard without options and features. Many of us can't afford to change our hardware and devices over night.
I am sure there will be a big media campaign like there was when analog changed to HD but still think maybe we should comment. The more noise the better and longer our old devices will work.
They need to hear from us all. Keep the current standard for an extended period of time. Broadcasters are seeing this as a revenue creator for their ad base. They need to roll out ATSC 3.0 to be backwards compatible with the current ATSC standard. In other words, we still get the channels just not the enhanced features of 3.0.