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Phoenix will be first market to get over-the-air 4K Ultra HD; next-gen TV

Toshiyuki Osawa, president of Sharp Electronics Corporation, introduces Sharp 4K Ultra HD televisions Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, at the International CES in Las Vegas. Also known as Ultra HD, 4k offers four times the sharpness of today's high-definition video. (AP Photo/John Locher)

PHOENIX — The next generation of television is here, Phoenix.

Phoenix has been picked as a test market for the next-gen broadcast experience.

And, it could be here in early 2018.

What does that mean?

Residents will get 4K Ultra HD, better mobile viewing and access to 3D television on regular over-the-air broadcasts. The new signals will be retransmitted to Wi-Fi devices such as smartphones and tablets and smart televisions. The new service is also expected to come with more channels as part of the trial program.

Ten television stations in the city have a joint agreement to bring this experience to the Valley of the Sun. The plan is expected to require competing stations to share transmitters so broadcasts can run on one tower and begin other shows on another tower.

The local stations’ success with the program will dictate how it will be rolled out in other markets, according to experts.

The city has one of the highest penetration rates of over-the-air TV – one in five households watch via an antenna.

Broadcasts with new receivers have been transmitting in countries such as South Korea, though, similar receivers are not yet for sale in the U.S.

The plan in Phoenix includes Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, Univision, Telemundo, MyTV, UniMas, CW and an independent station.

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