ATSC Names Teams to Drive Next-Generation DTV Technologies

WASHINGTON— The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has announced the formation of two new implementation teams to promote ATSC 2.0 and the Mobile Emergency Alert System (M-EAS).

The announcement is “a significant step in the move to expand the capabilities of ATSC broadcast TV,” said Mark Richter, president of the ATSC. “We want to keep the ATSC standard relevant and up-to-date for broadcasters and consumer device manufacturers. The introduction of Implementation Teams for both ATSC 2.0 and M-EAS underscores our progress and will help drive next-generation technologies toward marketplace introduction.”

Composed of representatives from companies developing enhancements to digital TV broadcast standards, the new teams will pursue market studies, prototype development, simulations, demonstrations, interoperability, ”plugfest“ testing, field trials, compliance, certification, branding, marketing and promotion, in addition to further standards recommendations to ATSC.

ATSC 2.0 is a backwards-compatible standard that includes Internet-related features, advanced video coding, conditional access and enhanced service guides for TV broadcasters. It expected to become a Candidate Standard in the second quarter of 2013.

It will include features from the recently approved ATSC A/103 ”Non-Real-Time“ (NRT) standard that allow broadcasters to deliver file-based content, including programs and clips to devices that viewers can later watch.

David Siegler of Cox Media will serve as chairman of the implementation team for ATSC 2.0.

”The overarching goal of ATSC 2.0 is to create new value for viewers, consumer electronics manufacturers, and broadcasters," Richer said. "To that end, the ATSC 2.0 Implementation Team provides a venue for industry discussions of issues related to commercialization of the emerging ATSC 2.0 Standard. The 2.0 Implementation Team may address business and operational requirements for the successful roll-out of ATSC 2.0, which is nearing final standardization."

Mobile-EAS, which is expected to become a standard in the first quarter of 2013, will allow broadcasters to send rich-media alerts to Mobile DTV-equipped devices.

Jay Adrick of Harris Corp. will serve as chairman of the M-EAS Implementation Team.