ATSC to develop guidelines for DTV receiver performance

In a move to end industry bickering and avoid government-mandated DTV tuner standards, the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) said it is in the process of developing a “Recommended Practice” that will establish voluntary guidelines for broadcast digital television (DTV) receiver performance.

“Our decision to develop a Recommended Practice reflects our goal of providing the consumer electronics industry with important information while providing manufacturers with the necessary flexibility for product innovation,” said Mark Richer, president of ATSC. “We also want to be responsive to a recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Notice of Inquiry (in ET Docket 03-65) which suggests that the industry develop voluntary DTV receiver performance guidelines.”

Development of the new guidelines, the organization said, is underway in the ATSC Specialist Group on Receivers. A draft of the guidelines is expected early next year. The study is expected to address critical DTV transmission issues such as adjacent channel interference and multipath.

“Recommended Practices,” noted the ATSC, are a widely accepted tool in the television industry that augment technical standards, and typically provide support and tutelage in the development of activities, operations, and equipment.

Previously, terrestrial broadcasters, through the NAB, asked the FCC to review DTV receiver performance in order to help avoid reception problems and consumer dissatisfaction. TV set manufacturers has blamed the broadcasters for poor reception by transmitting low power signals. The FCC earlier launched an inquiry, with comments due July 21 and replies on Aug. 18.

The ATSC represents the broadcast, broadcast equipment, motion picture, consumer electronics, computer, cable, satellite, and semiconductor industries.

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