ATSC 3.0 does not work the same way as ATSC 1.0. While ATSC 1.0 content is broadcast in the clear, ATSC 3.0 includes support for digital rights management. Once broadcasts are up and running TV stations will start signing content digitally so that only certified boxes can receive signal. This is a big change from ATSC 1.0. This is being done because ATSC 3.0 is based on transmitting IP packets (not MPEG-2). ATSC 3.0 also allows the transmission of downloadable applications that can run on your set-top box. Unless boxes are certified they may be open to hacking by rogue applications.
Digitally signed content means that we must protect this content if it is recorded on external hard drives. In order to get certification as quickly as possible we want to first launch a simple box and then build upon that experience to allow recording in future models.
You do not need to buy a new TV. However, regular HD TVs typically support a resolution of 1920x1080. A 4K TV supports a resolution that is 4 times higher or 3840x2160. 4K TVs are also referred to as UHD, or Ultra High Definition TVs. A new feature called HDR (High Dynamic Range) for rich colors is supported in most new 4K TVs. Technically, it is possible for regular HD TVs to also support HDR, but that is unlikely.
ATSC 3.0 has three main advantages: 4K, HDR and Dolby® AC-4. If you have an HDR capable TV you can enjoy HDR colors. If your TV does not support HDR, you can still enjoy Dolby® AC-4 features.
The main reason for connecting the ZapperBox M1 to the Internet is to allow for software updates. In the future Internet access may also be used for advanced features like streaming video content.
If the box is not connected to the Internet, it will still work but will not be able to download software updates. ATSC 3.0 specifications will continue to evolve for a couple years and it is highly recommended to keep the box connected to the Internet.
Look out for some really interesting features that will be added via software updates.