ITU Adopts ATSC 3.0 As Recommended Digital Broadcast Standard

WASHINGTON—The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has adopted ATSC 3.0 as a recommended digital broadcast standard, opening the door for countries around the world to evaluate and use the standard, the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has announced.

“With initial U.S. deployments in place, we’re anticipating the first announcements of consumer receivers for the U.S. market in the coming days,” said ATSC Board Chairman and NAB Senior Vice President of Technology Lynn Claudy. “The decision by the ITU is yet another signal that digital terrestrial broadcasting has a bright future ahead.”

ATSC 3.0 is the world’s first IP-based digital television broadcast standard. More than 60 U.S. television stations are expected to be on-air with 3.0 by the end of 2020, and consumer receivers for U.S. TV households are expected to be unveiled at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, which opens next week in Las Vegas (Jan. 7-10).

For ITU, the next step is to update its ITU Digital Handbook with best practices for implementing the Next Gen TV standard. Members of ATSC, including those on the new ATSC Planning Team 6 on Global Recognition of ATSC 3.0, are set to continue their support for international standardization efforts, the committee said.

“ATSC appreciates the efforts of the U.S. delegation to the ITU, led by the U.S. FCC, and we congratulate the ITU on its careful review and decision to include ATSC 3.0 as an official ITU standard,” said ATSC President Madeleine Noland.

“The system is currently commercially deployed in South Korea where audiences have been enjoying high-quality Ultra HD video and next-generation audio from ATSC 3.0 broadcasts since 2017,” she said. “U.S. commercial deployment begins in earnest this year.”

“I am very proud of our international progress and would like to thank ATSC members Sinclair Broadcast Group, ONE Media 3.0 and [South Korea’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute] ETRI for their leadership role in the ITU process. ATSC is an international organization with members hailing from across the globe. This milestone achievement is testament to the spirit of international collaboration that our members infused into the standard at every level,” she said.

More information is available on the ATSC website.

For a comprehensive source of TV Technology’s ATSC 3.0 coverage, see ourATSC3 silo.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.