ATSC publishes new “ACAP” interactive standard

October 6, 2003

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has “successfully harmonized” its DTV Application Software Environment (DASE) specifications with CableLabs’ OCAP specifications to create a proposed new standard, the organization announced. This interoperability effort has resulted in the creation of the Advanced Common Application Platform (ACAP) Candidate Standard (CS/101).

ACAP is designed to provide consumers with advanced interactive services while providing content creators, broadcasters, cable operators and consumer electronics manufacturers with the technical details necessary for the development of interoperable services and products.

“The challenging work of merging these two standards has created one that is stronger and more comprehensive, one that will be the ubiquitous platform for interactive television,” said Mark Richer, president of ATSC.

The candidate standard stage is a call for implementation and technical feedback. As an ATSC candidate standard, ACAP is now under the domain of a newly formed T3 Specialist Group on ACAP chaired by Craig Smithpeters of Cox Communications.

The ATSC has also published a companion candidate standard for ATSC Interaction Channel Protocols (CS/96). This standard specifies protocols to enable interactive television applications using an interaction two-way channel. This could be used in combination with forward broadcast download channels from terrestrial, cable, and satellite networks.

The ACAP and Interaction Channel Protocols Candidate Standards are available at

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