NO, proposed ATSC 3.0 is NOT backward compatible with ATSC 1.0 HDTV's....it will probably be an entirely DIFFERENT (COFDM) waveform...similar to what the REST of the World is using (e.g. DVB-T2 type)....
As ATSC 3.0 is phased in onto a MUCH SMALLER number of available Channel positions [we'll probably lose Ch38-51 to cell phones], they won't be able to assign TWO Channel positions to ALL networks, like they did for the Analog to Digital Transition. But perhaps the MAJOR Networks MIGHT be allowed to Transmit ATSC 1.0 and 3.0 on two Channel Positions....for awhile. [But none of this has been worked out yet.....]
If they don't have to change Channel Assignments [which would affect Transmitter, Waveguide & Antenna Systems], some Stations can simply upgrade the Software in their old ATSC 1.0 Exciters to the new ATSC 3.0 Exciter Software Build....and others will replace the Exciter with a new one. [Biggest impact is upgrading infrastructure to support "4K" data streams....for those who chose to do so....it is probably NOT mandatory.]
So existing inventory of HDTV's will lose the ability to watch OTA TV programs until you bite the bullet and buy an External ATSC 3.0 STB or DVR....or new HDTV's. And I'll probably buy a ONE CONNECT Future Upgrade Kit for my Samsung UDTV....whenever they announce ATSC 3.0 Tuner availability for the Kit.
Last edited by holl_ands; 2015-08-03 at 05:27 PM.