ATSC 3.0 Elements Pass Muster At ‘PlugFest’ Event

SHANGHAI—The Advanced Television System Committee’s next-gen digital TV standard, ATSC 3.0, fared very well in the testing of a portion of its attributes here this week. Results of the “PlugFest” evaluation, which concluded today, brought smiles to all of those involved, especially Lachlan Michael, who is chair of the ATSC’s S32-2 modulation and coding group and was heavily involved in the testing.

“I would rate it very much a success,” said Michael. “We had 150 parameter sets that we defined for this Plug Fest and we managed to get through all of those parameters during the week of testing. We achieved all the goals we set out to achieve, we’ve got people talking to each other, we’ve got people working getting more people excited about ATSC 3.0, and we’re just looking forward to the next time when we can get together and show even more features operational.”

Michael cautioned that the current testing did not involve the complete standard, but rather the two portionsphysical layer and discovery/signaling layerwhich have recently been elevated to “Candidate” status.

“What we’ve done in this Plug Fest is implement part of the standard,” he said. “We haven’t implemented all of the features. Obviously it’s not a complete system yet and there were some issues found on both the modulator and demodulator side, but I think we can say that there were multiple demodulators and multiple modulators that worked for every single combination.

The PlugFest testing event involved multiple venders and was hosted by China’s NERC (National Engineering Research Center) DTV facility.

The ATSC 3.0 DTV standard is a multinational effort involving companies and individuals from around the world. The draft version of the standard is expected to be completed in 2016.