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Tolka Telecommunications Announces Successful 2023

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Tolka Telecommunications has announced an active and successful 2023 with ongoing innovation across many areas of digital media technology.

Now in its ninth year, Tolka offers a wide range of products embracing conditional access, personalised content delivery, interactive education, and watermark-based rights protection. The company also also offers customer-specific application development and refinement services (Tolka AppWorks) for third parties in the OTA, IPTV and OTT sectors.

"A defining event early in 2023 was the January Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas," says Alex Day, Tolka's Vice President of Business Development. "ATSC 3.0 is being adopted by television channels across an increasing area of the USA. It is one of the most impressive advances in broadcasting since the transition from standard definition to 720p and 1080i high definition television which began over 20 years ago. Central to the ATSC 3.0 standard is support for 2160p 4K resolution, high frame rate, high dynamic range, wide colour gamut and movie theatre quality sound. Another powerful capability of ATSC 3.0 is datacasting which enables applications such as localised emergency notification, exemplified by America’s Emergency Network for which we helped create software and hardware to demonstrate its rich-media and actionable emergency alerts."

Tolka's CES 2023 exhibit included, from Atlanta DTH, the only A3SA certified NEXTGEN TV set-top-box currently for sale. Tolka also promoted its ATSC 3 Stack software. This enables television viewers to experience free-to-air ATSC 3.0 NEXTGEN TV television programs and distance-learning services on Android or Linux-compatible receivers, set-top boxes, in-car receivers, smartphones, tablets and personal computers. Tolka's Broadcast Stack can also provide plug-in support for third-party HTML user agents and media players.

Returning to Las Vegas for the April 2023 NAB Show, Tolka also exhibited its ADS personalised advertisement delivery system. Tolka ADS combines content insertion and advertisement targeting in a single software-based solution. No internet return path is needed. Broadcasters gain an efficient way to deliver specific promotional content and commercials to targeted groups within their transmission footprint. ADS also enables channel owners to generate more revenue from their existing subscriber base. Advertisers gain a higher conversion rate and can also construct audience databases. Designed for integration with existing playout automation systems at a TV station or host playout facility, the software allows efficient insertion of relevant and localised advertising for audiences across different regions.

Deliveries of Tolka-powered ATSC 3.0 set-top boxes commenced in August. Housed in a compact unit designed to fit beneath or alongside the display, they come with ATSC 3.0 and ATSC 1.0 support, Ethernet, dual-band Wi-Fi, HDMI, S/PDIF digital audio and RCA connectors. A wide range of features are supported including an electronic program guide and parental controls. Dolby AC-4, audio description and closed captions can be activated.

"Now standardised in India and a finalist to be adopted in Brazil, ATSC 3.0 is really on the move," Alex Day summarised, "not least via the Tolka-powered AIRialTV Solo 4K HDR USB ATSC 3.0 receiver, first deliveries of which commenced this year from one of our OEM partners. The rollout of ATSC 3.0 services across the USA meanwhile continues which in turn has encouraged several new vendors to partner with us – and potentially many more to come. The US Consumer Technology Association this week reported a cumulative installed base of NEXTGEN TV receivers in the USA topping 10.3 million and consumer sales of NEXTGEN TV products anticipated to grow by 45% during 2024. Great potential for the entire television production and broadcast industry as we move ahead into the middle of the decade."

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