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ATSC 3.0 Reaches The Planning Stages

9/06/2011 02:30:03 PM Eastern
Washington - The digital television transition feels like it was just completed yesterday and already the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) is looking for its replacement.

The ATSC, which over the past 20 years helped to craft today's digital TV broadcast system from a slew of competing proposals, said Monday that it has formed a new technology group to develop a series of voluntary technical standards and practices for the next-generation digital terrestrial broadcast system, dubbed "ATSC 3.0."

Expected by the committee to become the next-generation digital terrestrial television broadcast system "for decades to come," ATSC 3.0 is proposed to be designed to support future enhancements and services that haven't even been imagined yet, for broadcast over terrestrial airwaves.

"ATSC 3.0 is a crucial long-term project that paves the way for futuristic terrestrial television broadcasting technologies," said ATSC president Mark Richer.  "As we look to the horizon, the ATSC will be exploring technologies that perhaps haven't even been invented yet."

Because ATSC 3.0 is likely to be incompatible with current broadcast systems, it must provide improvements in performance, functionality and efficiency significant enough to warrant implementation of a non-backwards-compatible system, according to Richer.  Interoperability with production systems and non-broadcast distribution systems should be considered by the new technology group, he explained. 

"The future of broadcast television is bright, both for the near- and long-term," said Richer, referring to current work on ATSC 2.0, which includes Internet-enhanced broadcasting and non-real-time (NRT) and 3D broadcast standards, as well as ongoing support for the ATSC Mobile DTV standard.

A new ATSC 3.0 technology group, called "TG3," is being formed to allow the ATSC technology and standards group (now called "TG"), chaired by Dr. Richard Chernock of Triveni Digital, to accelerate its current activities including development of ATSC 2.0, NRT, 3D and Mobile DTV.

 TG3 was recommended by the ATSC board of directors in July and adopted by the membership on Sept 2.

ATSC board chairman John Godfrey, who is also a VP at Samsung, appointed James Kutzner as TG3 chairman.

Kutzner, PBS advanced technology senior director, chaired the ATSC 3.0 planning team for the past year. At PBS, Kutzner manages engineering and technology projects.

He is also an ATSC board member, SMPTE fellow, IEEE member and vice chairman of the Open Mobile Video Coalition's technical advisory group. 
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