ATSC Publishes Trigger Specs for Data Broadcasting

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has approved and published a new standard designed to enable advanced data broadcasting features for the next-generation of DTV receiving devices.

ATSC document A/93 "Synchronized/Asynchronous Trigger Standard" defines a method for the transmission of synchronized data elements, and synchronized and asynchronous events. This functionality is used in data broadcast applications where the timing of events relative to the video program material is important.

A/93 builds on the synchronized delivery mechanisms of the ATSC A/90 Data Broadcast Standard. It specifically enables the synchronized delivery of data modules through the decoupling of the timing information from the delivery of the data element.

According to Jerry Whitaker, ATSC Technical Director, "The key technical issue addressed by the ATSC trigger was to provide a continuous system time clock for accurate frame/field synchronization of data requiring long decoding times. This functionality is critical to making advanced data broadcast features work as intended."

A/93 and other technical documents covering DTV standards are available at