An ATSC Recommended Practice is a document that states specifications or criteria within Advanced Television Systems that are not strictly necessary for effective implementation and interoperability, but that are thought to be advisable and may improve the efficiency of implementation or reduce the probability of implementation errors. An ATSC Recommended Practice may specify preferred methodology for implementation and operation and may recommend a choice from among alternatives.
Documents are provided in the links below in the Acrobat (PDF) format.
This ATSC Recommended Practice describes methods for testing, monitoring, and measurement of the transmission subsystem intended for use in the digital television (DTV) system adopted as the U.S. Standard by the Federal Communications Commission. Both 8-VSB and 16-VSB are described in this document.
Download A/64B:2008, “Transmission Measurement and Compliance for Digital Television”, approved 26 May 2008. Reaffirmed 11 December 2014.
This document provides a set of guidelines for the use and implementation of the ATSC Program and System Information Protocol. The information contained herein applies to broadcasters, network operators, infrastructure manufacturers, and receiver manufacturers.
Download A/69:2009, “Program and System Information Protocol Implementation Guidelines for Broadcasters”, approved 25 December 2009.
This Recommended Practice addresses the front-end portion of a receiver of digital terrestrial television broadcasts. The recommended performance guidelines enumerated in this document are intended to assure that reliable reception will be achieved. Guidelines for interference rejection are based on the FCC planning factors that were used to analyze coverage and interference for the initial DTV channel allotments. Guidelines for sensitivity and multipath handling reflect field experience accumulated by testing undertaken by industry organizations and receiver manufacturers.
Download A/74:2010, “Receiver Performance Guidelines”, approved 7 April 2010.
Field ensembles described in Section 5.5.2 of the Recommended Practice are available by request. Email email@example.com. Send a USB drive of at least 60 GB capacity to:
Advanced Television Systems Committee
1776 K Street, N.W. Ste. 800
Washington, D.C. 20006
Be certain to include a complete address for return of the USB drive.
This document presents the objectives of, and general methodology for conducting field tests of over-the-air terrestrial digital television (DTV) systems. The scope of the work includes reception, demodulation, and recovery of the transmitted data. The scope of the work herein is not concerned with the decoded data or analog signals except when these signals are used as a means to determine that the data has been correctly recovered.
Note: While this document provides considerable useful information, it has not been updated and may therefore not reflect current practices.
Download A/75:2001, “Developing DTV Field Test Plans”, approved 26 July 2001.
This Recommended Practice provides a common methodology for describing Transport Stream conformance criteria. This RP explicitly describes the elements and parameters of A/53 and A/65 that should be verified in an ATSC Transport Stream for it to be considered a proper emission. It does not cover RF, captioning, or elementary streams.
Download A/78:2015, “Transport Stream Verification”, approved 20 May 2015.
This Recommended Practice provides guidance to broadcasters and other creators of ATSC high-definition (HD) or standard-definition (SD) content and to the operators of Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (MVPD) systems (such as cable or direct to home satellite). It recommends the equipment capabilities needed to provide the highest quality programming to viewers who only receive NTSC services.
Download A/79:2008, “Conversion of ATSC Signals for Distribution to NTSC Viewers”, approved 12 December 2008.
This Recommended Practice provides guidance to broadcasters and creators of audio for high-definition (HD) or standard-definition (SD) television content. It recommends production, distribution, and transmission practices needed to provide the highest quality audio soundtracks to the digital television audience. This RP focuses on audio measurement, production, and postproduction monitoring techniques, and methods to effectively control loudness for content delivery or exchange. It recommends methods to effectively control program-to-interstitial loudness, discusses metadata systems and use, and describes modern dynamic range control.
Download A/85:2013, “Techniques for Establishing and Maintaining Audio Loudness for Digital Television”, approved 12 March 2013.
A/85 French Translation
The French translation of “ATSC Recommended Practice: Techniques for Establishing and Maintaining Audio Loudness for Digital Television (A/85)” is provided as a convenience. The translation has not been approved by the ATSC. Implementers of the Recommended Practice are urged to confirm the details in the official version of A/85.
La traduction française de la Pratique recommandée par l’ATSC : Techniques d’établissement et de maintien de l’intensité sonore pour la télévision numérique (A/85) est offerte à des fins de courtoisie. La traduction n’a pas été approuvée par l’ATSC. Les responsables de la mise en œuvre de la Pratique recommandée doivent confirmer les détails de la version officielle de l’A/85. Pratique recommandée par l’ATSC : Techniques d’établissement et de maintien de l’intensité sonore pour la télévision numérique.
This document provides a set of guidelines for the use and implementation of the ATSC Data Broadcast Standard. As such, they facilitate the efficient and reliable implementation of data broadcast services. The information contained herein applies to data service providers as the primary entity that assembles the elements of each data channel. It also applies to broadcasters, network operators, and infrastructure manufacturers. The rules are specified in the form of constraints on the data broadcast implementation.
Note that A/91 has not been updated to reflect the latest revision of the Data Broadcast Standard, A/90:2013.
Download A/91:2001, “Implementation Guidelines for the Data Broadcast Standard”, approved 10 June 2001.
Many of the challenges of radio frequency transmission are the same regardless of whether the information carried is in analog or digital form. Because of the signal processing applied when the information carried is digital, however, there are techniques to overcome some of those challenges that are more applicable to digital signals than to analog signals. Among such techniques is the use of multiple transmitters in Single Frequency Networks (SFNs) and Multiple Frequency Networks (MFNs). In the past, SFNs have been considered mostly for applications in multi-carrier systems such as those using COFDM modulation. This Recommended Practice applies SFNs to the single-carrier 8-VSB system adopted by the ATSC and the FCC but has not been updated yet to reflect the additional techniques needed to support Mobile DTV (as documented in A/153).
SFNs can be implemented with Digital On-Channel Repeaters (DOCRs), with Distributed Transmitters (DTxTs), with Distributed Translators (DTxRs), or with a combination of them. MFNs generally involve the use of translators. This Recommended Practice examines all three types of transmitters used in SFNs and MFNs and then concentrates on the design aspects of SFNs in the absence of A/153 enhancements.
Download A/111:2009, “Design Of Synchronized Multiple Transmitter Networks”, approved 18 September 2009.
The ATSC Mobile DTV service shares the same RF channel as the standard ATSC broadcast service described in ATSC A/53 (“ATSC Digital Television Standard, Parts 1 – 6”). The purpose of this Recommended Practice is to describe how the technology is documented in the Standard, explain what is enabled by in the Standard (technically and functionally), and to provide recommendations for the emission systems. This Recommended Practice provides an overview of the system and guidance for Parts 3, 4 and 6 of the ATSC Mobile DTV Standard.
Download A/154:2013, “ATSC Mobile DTV Recommended Practice”, approved 30 January 2013.
This document addresses the signal conditions that may be encountered with assessment of the potential impact upon the front-end portion of a receiver of A/153-based mobile digital television broadcasts. This document provides recommended performance guidelines that are intended to maximize reception. In general, the recommendations in this document build on those contained in A/74 (which applies to fixed terrestrial receivers), with the addition of new guidelines pertinent to mobile reception. Areas where the recommendations are new or different include: dynamic multipath, antenna configurations in mobile receivers, the effects of more limited power supplies, possible proximity to interfering signals, and presence of unlicensed devices radiating in the TV bands.
Download A/174:2011, “Mobile Receiver Performance Guidelines”, approved 26 September 2011.
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