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12.03.2004
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Programming Metadata Communication Protocol elevated to ATSC standard

Members of the Advanced Television Systems Committee have elevated the Programming Metadata Communication Protocol (PMCP) to ATSC Standard A/76.

Based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) message documents that are both human and machine readable, PMCP can be implemented across various system architectures. The standard includes an XML schema defining the message structure for carriage of information to populate the PSIP tables. It specifies which elements are allowed, their relationships, attributes and data types.

With the FCC’s Feb. 1, 2005 deadline for full implementation of the ATSC PSIP standard looming, PMCP will provide the capability for broadcasters and manufacturers to interconnect systems that process PSIP and DTV metadata to meet that obligation.

The PMCP Standard A/76 complements and references existing ATSC standards and supports the ISO standard V-ISAN for unique identification of program content. Additional extensions are in the development stages to provide enhanced support for data broadcasting and enhanced VSB. A companion Guide to the Use of the PMCP Standard is planned.

The PMCP Standard A/76 is available at www.atsc.org/standards.html.

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