ATSC Moves to Make PSIP More Practical

The Advanced Television Standards Committee (ATSC) is promoting a new candidate standard for metadata interchange that will make it easier to share information among different systems at a DTV station. The proposed standard is called Programming Metadata Communication Protocol (PMCP) and it is intended to solve the puzzle of moving program data between a DTV station's automation system and its PSIP generator.

The reach of PMCP goes further, as it addresses the need to standardize metadata used by a variety of systems, including traffic, automation, listing services and MPEG encoders, in addition to the PSIP encoder. PMCP is based on extensible markup language (XML) documents that are widely used by a variety of professional applications, and the goal of the new standard is to automate data transfer into a station's PSIP encoder.

A range of broadcasters, manufacturers and service providers worked for 18 months to develop the candidate PMCP standard. The ATSC will now call for technical comments regarding the implementation of the candidate standard before giving it the final stamp of approval.