FCC Says Real-Time PSIP Program Guide Updates Not Required

May 30, 2008 was the deadline for all DTV stations to transmit PSIP information in compliance with ATSC Standard A/65C. This requirement was contained in the FCC’s Third DTV Periodic Report and Order. Some companies interpreted this as requiring real-time updating of program guide information in PSIP when a program runs long or the program schedule is changed at the last minute.

The Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV), the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Harris Corp., and Cohen, Dippell and Everist PC requested clarification of the Report and Order, noting that PSIP automation equipment was not currently available.

In an Order on Clarification (FCC 08-141) released Thursday the FCC stated: “While we encourage stations to update the EIT as rapidly as possible when overages or other circumstances result in changes to scheduled programs, our rules and policies do not require that updates be accomplished in real time.”

The FCC Order on Clarification noted that the rule which had been adopted in the Third DTV Periodic incorporated, by reference, the ATSC PSIP standard (A/65C) and that this does not require real-time updating. However, the Commission said that the matter might be revisited if the ATSC PSIP standard is changed.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.