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ATSC 3.0 Reaches The Planning Stages

Washington – The digital television transition feels like it was
just completed yesterday and already the

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

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

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.