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NAB PILOT Launches Transmitter Identification Resources for NextGen TV Stations

ATSC 3.0
(Image credit: ATSC)

WASHINGTON, D.C.—PILOT, the innovation wing of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), has announced the development of a NextGen TV Transmitter ID (TxID) table for voluntary use by broadcasters using the ATSC 3.0 transmission standard. 

The table and TxID codes can be used to identify individual transmissions for testing, measurement, interference identification and other differentiation purposes, the NAB said. 

“ATSC 3.0 stations are rapidly launching all over the United States and this TxID table is an excellent resource for broadcasters,” said Sam Matheny, NAB’s chief technology officer. “It’s important for each main and SFN transmitter to have a unique identifier, and NAB is proud to provide this table to help ensure a consistent format and regional uniqueness. We invite and encourage all ATSC 3.0 broadcasters to use this important tool.”

The ATSC 3.0 suite of standards provides a mechanism for assigning an optional TxID code for each individual NextGen TV transmitter, including main transmitters of full-power and low-power stations, as well as TV translators and on-channel low-power transmitters that are part of single frequency networks (SFNs). No specific methodology for assigning or registering these identifying codes is documented in the ATSC 3.0 standards, but they must be regionally unique.

Under contract from NAB PILOT, Cavell Mertz & Associates, Inc. and The Merrill Weiss Group developed the TxID code table to serve as a voluntary register for the TxID transmitter identification system. NAB PILOT will act as the registration authority for the table.

In the table, TxID code values are assigned to licensed facilities in blocks, providing each station the resources needed to identify multiple transmitters operating under its single license. Each block of TxID codes is selected to be regionally unique for its channel number.

The table can be accessed at TxID.NABPILOT.org.

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.