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ATSC 1.0 : Standards

An ATSC Standard is a document that states basic specifications or criteria that are necessary for effective implementation and interoperability of Advanced Television Systems.

  • A/49, Ghost Canceling Reference Signal for NTSCMost Recent Document Approved: 13 May 1993, Reaffirmed by ATSC, 10 December 2014

    This document describes a ghost canceling reference (GCR) signal for NTSC television signals.

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  • A/52, Digital Audio Compression (AC-3) (E-AC-3) StandardMost Recent Document Approved: 25 January 2018

    This document specifies coded representation of audio information and the decoding process, as well as information on the encoding process. The coded representation specified is suitable for use in digital audio transmission and storage applications, and may convey from 1 to 5 full bandwidth audio channels, along with a low-frequency enhancement channel. A wide range of encoded bit-rates is supported by this specification. Typical applications of digital audio compression are in satellite or terrestrial audio broadcasting, delivery of audio over metallic or optical cables, or storage of audio on magnetic, optical, semiconductor, or other storage media. Revision B added a new annex, “Enhanced AC-3 Bit Stream Syntax” which specifies an additional syntax that offers additional coding tools and features.

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  • A/53, ATSC Digital Television StandardMost Recent Document Approved: Various Dates

    The Digital Television Standard describes the system characteristics of the advanced television (ATV) system. The document and its normative Parts provide detailed specification of the parameters of the system including the video encoder input scanning formats and the preprocessing and compression parameters of the video encoder, the audio encoder input signal format and the pre-processing and compression parameters of the audio encoder, the service multiplex and transport layer characteristics and normative specifications, and the VSB RF/Transmission subsystem.

    Download A/53, Part 1:2013 – Digital Television System

    Download A/53, Part 2:2011 – RF/Transmission System Characteristics

    Download A/53, Part 3:2013 – Service Multiplex and Transport Subsystem Characteristics

    Download A/53, Part 4:2009 – MPEG-2 Video System Characteristics

    Download A/53, Part 5:2014 – AC-3 Audio System Characteristics

    Download A/53, Part 6:2013 – Enhanced AC-3 Audio System Characteristics

    A/53: ATSC Digital Television Standard, Parts 1-6, 2007 – This integrated file provides A/53, Parts 1-6, as adopted by the Federal Communications Commission. Note: the version adopted by the FCC is not necessarily the current version of the Standard.

    A Recommended Practice for the Digital Television Standard is also available.

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  • A/57B, Content Identification And Labeling For ATSC Transport, Revision BMost Recent Document Approved: 26 May 2008

    This document defines mean to uniquely identify content (an audiovisual work). It specifies the use of an externally defined identifier, such as ISAN, and it defines an alternative house numbering system. This document also defines the semantics of the use of the MPEG-2 content labeling descriptor for labeling audiovisual content with these identifiers in the ATSC Transport.

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  • A/63, Standard For Coding 25/50 Hz VideoMost Recent Document Approved: 2 May 1997

    This document describes the characteristics for the video subsystem of a digital television system operating at 25 Hz and 50 Hz frame rates.

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  • A/65, Program And System Information Protocol For Terrestrial Broadcast And CableMost Recent Document Approved: 7 August 2013

    This document (A/65 2013) defines a standard for System Information (SI) and Program Guide (PG) data compatible with digital multiplex bit streams constructed in accordance with ISO/IEC 13818-1 (MPEG-2 Systems). The document defines the standard protocol for transmission of the relevant data tables contained within packets carried in the transport stream multiplex. The protocol defined herein is referred to as Program and System Information Protocol (PSIP).

    Note that a previous version of A/65 is referenced by the U.S. FCC. That document number is A/65C (2006) with Amendment No. 1. It can be downloaded here.

    A Recommended Practice for PSIP is also available.

    A/69: Program and System Information Protocol Implementation Guidelines for Broadcasters

    25 December 2009
    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.

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    Virtual Channels From The Range 70-99 as Described in ATSC A/65, Annex B, Section1, Item 9

    This is a directory of major virtual channels from the range 70-99 as described in ATSC A65, Annex B, Section 1, Item 9. This directory information is provided as an informational service to the industry and is not a registration authority for these numbers. Managing the use and conflicts of these major virtual channel numbers in accordance with ATSC A65 and FCC regulations is the responsibility of the individual broadcasters and not the ATSC. Broadcasters that wish to include their channels in this directory may contact the ATSC, providing all the information in the table below. Submissions should be made to Jerry Whitaker at ATSC.

    Major Channel Region(s) On Air Date Contact Information
    75 USA: Albany, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, St. Louis, Washington TBD Tribune Broadcasting
    435 N. Michigan Ave
    Chicago, Illinois 60611
    99 USA Oct 2003 U.S. Digital Television, Inc. 12552 South 125 West Draper, UT 84020 Phone: 801-748-2464 Fax: 801-748-0671

    Download (A/65 2013) by clicking the download link below.

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  • A/70 Part 1, Conditional Access System For Terrestrial BroadcastMost Recent Document Approved: 30 November 2010

    This document defines the Conditional Access system for ATSC Terrestrial Broadcasting. The necessary building blocks are called out that will enable broadcasters to fully exploit the capabilities of digital broadcasting using ATSC. This standard is based, whenever possible, on existing open standards.

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  • A/70 Part 2, Conditional Access System for Terrestrial Broadcast Service Protection using Simulcrypt for IP-Delivered ServicesMost Recent Document Approved: 17 October 2011

    Part 2 of this Standard defines the method for utilizing Simulcrypt concepts to simultaneously encrypt (provide service protection) services with different service protection systems without transmitting multiple differently-encrypted copies of the services.

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  • A/71, ATSC Parameterized Services Standard – 12/3/2012Most Recent Document Approved: 03 December 2012

    This supplementary standard defines a general purpose method to enable announcement of the technical attributes of program elements that must be supported in a receiving device to render the programming on a particular virtual channel. It is not a replacement for fully-defined and optimized combinations of program elements defined for a particular service type, such as those established by A/53 and A/97.

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  • A/72 Parts 1, 2, and 3Most Recent Document Approved: 2014

    A/72 Part 1:2015, “Video System Characteristics of AVC in the ATSC Digital Television System”
    19 May 2015
    This Part describes the video coding constraints on ITU-T Rec. H.264 | ISO/IEC 14496-10 (“AVC”) video compression in the ATSC Digital Television System. The Transport Stream constraints for AVC are described in Part 2 of this standard.

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    A/72 Part 2:2014, “AVC Video Transport Subsystem Characteristics”
    18 February 2014
    This Part describes the transport of ITU-T Rec. H.264 | ISO/IEC 14496-10 (“AVC”) as constrained by ATSC A/72 Part 1 for the ATSC Digital Television System. The syntax and semantics of this specification conform to ATSC A/53 Part 3, with additional constraints specified in this Standard.

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    A/72 Part 3:2014, “Video and Transport Subsystem Characteristics of MVC for 3D-TV Broadcast in the ATSC Digital Television System”
    01 July 2014
    This Part describes the video coding constraints on Annex H of ITU-T Rec. H.264 | ISO/IEC 14496-10 [10] (“MVC”) video compression and the transport of the MVC video streams for 3D-TV broadcast in the ATSC Digital Television System.

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  • A/76B, Programming Metadata Communication Protocol Standard, Revision BMost Recent Document Approved: 14 January 2008. Reaffirmed 9 February 2016

    This standard defines a method for communicating metadata related to PSIP (Program and System Information Protocol), including duplicate data that needs to be entered in other locations in the transport stream. Communication is based on a protocol utilizing XML message documents generated in accordance with a Programming Metadata Communication Protocol (PMCP) XML Schema defined herein.

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  • A/81, Direct-To-Home Satellite Broadcast StandardMost Recent Document Approved: 30 July 2003

    This document describes the emission system for ATSC Direct-to-Home (DTH) Satellite Broadcast System. This specification defines extensions to audio, video, transport, and PSIP subsystems as defined in ATSC Standards A/53B and A/65A. The emission system defined in this document includes carriage of data broadcasting as defined in ATSC Standard A/90 without requiring extensions. Furthermore, transmission and conditional access subsystems are not defined, allowing service providers to use existing subsystems.

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  • A/82, Automatic Transmitter Power Control (ATPC) Data Return Link (DRL) StandardMost Recent Document Approved: 11 February 2008

    This document provides the necessary specifications to construct a Data Return Link (DRL) system for automatic transmitter control (ATPC) applications. This document further specifies the mechanisms necessary for basic identification and power control of TV Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) transmitters, in either an automatic or manual mode. The initial, and default, operating mode is known as the “Beacon Mode.” An optional, lower-power operating mode, known as the “Transport Mode,” may be used if the RF environment permits. Both modes include the necessary mechanisms to permit the carriage of specialized private data (e.g., camera control information and operator communications) that is applicable to remote field production.

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  • A/90, ATSC Data Broadcast StandardMost Recent Document Approved: 28 October 2013

    The ATSC Data Broadcast Standard defines protocols for data transmission compatible with digital multiplex bit streams constructed in accordance with ISO/IEC 13818-1 (MPEG-2 Systems). The standard supports data services that are both TV program related and non-program related. Applications may include enhanced television, webcasting, and streaming video services. Data broadcasting receivers may include PCs, televisions, set-top boxes, or other devices. The standard provides mechanisms for download of data, delivery of datagrams and streaming data.

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    A Recommended Practice for the Data Broadcast Standard is also available.

    A/91: Implementation Guidelines for the Data Broadcast Standard
    10 June 2001
    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.

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  • A/92, Delivery Of IP Multicast Sessions Over Data Broadcast StandardMost Recent Document Approved: 31 January 2002

    This standard specifies the delivery of Internet Protocols (IP) Multicast sessions, the delivery of data for describing the characteristics of a session, and usage of the ATSC A/90 Data Broadcast Standard for IP Multicast. This document defines a standard for the asynchronous transmission of Internet Protocols (IP) specifically including multicast addressing compatible with the ATSC A/90 Data Broadcast Standard. This Standard assumes the use of Session Description Protocol (SDP) as an integral part of the IP Multicast-based Data Broadcast service.

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  • A/93, Synchronized/Asynchronous Trigger StandardMost Recent Document Approved: 1 April 2002

    This document defines a standard for the transmission of synchronized data elements, and synchronized and asynchronous events. It specifically enables the synchronized delivery of data modules through the decoupling of the timing from the delivery of the data element. It also enables the delivery of events to receivers, including application-defined events.

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  • A/94, ATSC Data Application Reference ModelMost Recent Document Approved: 16 August 2002

    This standard defines an Application Reference Model (ARM) including a binding of application environment facilities onto the ATSC Data Broadcast Standard, A/90. This standard includes a system-wide resource naming scheme, a state model, data models, and constraints and extensions to A/53, A/65, and A/90 to implement application environments.

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  • A/95, Transport Stream File System StandardMost Recent Document Approved: 25 February 2003

    This document defines the ATSC Transport Stream File System (TSFS) standard for delivery of hierarchical name-spaces, directories and files. This standard builds on the data service delivery mechanism defined in the ATSC Data Broadcast Standard, A/90.

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  • A/96, ATSC Interaction Channel Protocols – 2/3/2004Most Recent Document Approved: 3 February 2004

    This standard defines a core suite of protocols to enable remote interactivity in television environments. Remote interactivity requires the use of a two-way interaction channel that enables communications between the client device and remote servers. Examples of remote interactivity include E-commerce transactions during commercials, electronic banking, polling, email services, or other services yet to be defined.

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  • A/97, Software Download Data ServiceMost Recent Document Approved: 16 November 2004

    This document specifies a data service that may be used to download software to a terminal device using an MPEG-2 Transport Stream via an appropriate physical layer. This service may be used to effect updates or upgrades of firmware, operating system software, device driver software, native application software, middleware, and other types of software that reside in a terminal device. This document specifies standard announcement, signaling, and encapsulation for the delivery of this download data service. The content and format of the software download data is not defined by this Standard. The formats and interpretations of the software download payload are defined by each user of this Standard.

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  • A/98, System Renewability Message TransportMost Recent Document Approved: 3 January 2007

    This document defines the method for transport of System Renewability Messages. A System Renewability Message (SRM) is a message issued by the administrator of a Content Protection System (CPS) that, when sent to devices that use that CPS, can revoke permission of certain devices or groups of devices to obtain content protected by that CPS. Different CPSs will each have their own SRMs to maintain the integrity of their systems; e.g., in the event that device keys are stolen and cloned. Annex A provides an insertion model for SRM distribution, and Annex B presents an informative overview of how System Renewability Messages are used.

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  • A/99, Carriage Of Legacy TV Data ServicesMost Recent Document Approved: 23 July 2008

    This supplementary standard establishes how to transport certain data services that are sent by some broadcasters. These services may be sent over NTSC using lines in or near the Vertical Blanking Interval or in digital video using VANC. The method for encapsulating some of these services has been defined in SCTE 127.

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  • A/100, DTV Application Software Environment – Level 1 (DASE-1)Most Recent Document Approved: 9 March 2003

    The DASE-1 Standard defines a software layer (middleware) that allows programming content and applications to run on a so-called common receiver. Interactive and enhanced applications need access to common receiver features in a platform-independent manner. This environment provides enhanced and interactive content creators the specifications necessary to ensure that their applications and data will run uniformly on all brands and models of receivers. Manufacturers will thus be able to choose hardware platforms and operating systems for receivers, but provide the commonality necessary to support applications made by many content creators.

    The DASE-1 standard may be downloaded as individual documents:

    A/100-1 – Introduction, Architecture, and Common Facilities

    A/100-2 – Declarative Applications Environment

    A/100-3 – Procedural Applications and Environment

    A/100-4 – Applications Programming Interface

    A/100-5 – ZIP Archive Resource Format

    A/100-6 – Security

    A/100-7 – Application Delivery System – ARM Binding

    A/100-8 – Conformance

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  • A/103, Non-Real-Time DeliveryMost Recent Document Approved: 25 July 2014

    This Standard describes the ATSC Non-Real-Time Content Delivery system, hereafter referred to as the ATSC NRT system or simply NRT. The NRT system provides support for delivery of content in advance of use (i.e., not streaming content). These ATSC-NRT services are carried in DTV broadcast multiplexes. The presence of these services do not preclude or prevent operation of current ATSC services in the same RF channel or have any adverse impact on legacy receiving equipment.

    Schema files are located in the ATSC XML Schemas folder.

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  • A/104, ATSC 3D-TV Terrestrial BroadcastingMost Recent Document Approved: Various Dates

    The ATSC 3D-TV suite of standards is organized in a series of Parts based on deployment architecture. Additional Parts are expected to be added during calendar year 2014.

    A/104 Part 1:2014, “3D-TV Terrestrial Broadcasting, Part 1”
    4 August 2014
    This document and its normative Parts provide detailed specification of the parameters of the 3D-TV system including the video encoder input scanning formats and characteristics of the service multiplex and transport layers.
    Note that reference [7] is to the A/104 Part 4 Working Draft. This is a work in progress. A current version of the Working Draft can be accessed here.

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    A/104 Part 2:2012, “Service Compatible Hybrid Coding Using Real Time Delivery”
    26 December 2012
    This document provides detailed specification of the parameters of the Service Compatible Hybrid-Coded 3D (SCHC) system, which is one particular case of the Service Compatible 3D-TV system using Real-time Delivery (SCRT). This specification includes the video encoder input scanning formats and the service multiplex and transport layer characteristics and normative specifications.

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    A/104 Part 3:2014, “3D-TV Terrestrial Broadcasting, Part 3 – Frame Compatible Stereo Coding Using Real-Time Delivery”
    27 June 2014
    This document provides detailed specification of the parameters of the Frame Compatible 3DTV system using Real-Time (FCRT) delivery and the Multi-Resolution Frame Compatible 3D-TV system using Real-Time (MFCRT) delivery, including the video encoder input scanning formats and the service multiplex and transport layer characteristics and normative specifications.

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    A/104 Part 4:2015, “Service Compatible Hybrid Delivery 3D using Broadband or ATSC NRT”
    13 April 2015
    This document provides the detailed specification of the parameters of the Service Compatible Hybrid Delivery 3D using Broadband or ATSC NRT. This specification includes the video encoder input scanning formats, the service multiplex, the video synchronization, and the transport layer characteristics and the normative requirements.

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    A/104 Part 5:2015, “3D-TV Terrestrial Broadcasting, Part 5 – Service Compatible 3D-TV using Main and Mobile Hybrid Delivery”
    28 October 2015
    This document provides detailed specification of the parameters of the Service Compatible 3D-TV using Main and Mobile Hybrid Delivery (SC-MMH), which is one particular case of the Service Compatible 3D-TV system using Real-time Delivery (SCRT). This specification includes the stereoscopic video formats, the service multiplex and transport layer characteristics, and normative/informative specifications.

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    A/104 Part 6:2014, “3DTV Terrestrial Broadcasting, Part 6 – Independent Coded 3D Using Real-Time Delivery”
    22 August 2014
    This document provides detailed specification of the parameters of the Independent Coded 3D (IC3D) using real-time delivery This specification includes the video encoder input scanning formats, the service multiplex, transport layer characteristics, and normative specifications.

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  • A/105, Interactive Services StandardMost Recent Document Approved: 29 October 2015

    Standard describes the ATSC Interactive Services Standard (ISS). The Interactive Services system allows the broadcaster to connect broadcast programming with additional services related to that programming. Central to this system are Declarative Objects (DOs) providing the user’s interactive experience. Changes to the life-cycle state of Declarative Objects (for example to launch or kill a DO) can be initiated and changed by both broadcasters and viewers. The system provides for the extension of these services to second screens and provides for delivery of needed resources via the Internet path.

    NOTE: There are no plans at this time to establish an external PDI Question Registry as anticipated in Section 8.7 and Annex E.

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  • A/106, ATSC Security and Service Protection StandardMost Recent Document Approved: 28 September 2015

    This document defines the security and service protection systems for ATSC 2.0 broadcasting. Prepared by the Specialist Group on Security (TG1/S7), the necessary building blocks are called out that will enable broadcasters to fully exploit the capabilities of digital broadcasting using ATSC 2.0. This standard is based, whenever possible, on existing open standards.

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  • A/107, ATSC 2.0 StandardMost Recent Document Approved: 15 June 2015

    This document is a top-level specification of the ATSC 2.0 fixed-broadcast digital television services, which augment the digital television services defined in ATSC A/53. As a top-level document this standard references other ATSC standards as well as standards developed by other organizations.

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  • A/110, ATSC Standard for Transmitter SynchronizationMost Recent Document Approved: 8 April 2011

    This document defines a standard for synchronization of multiple transmitters emitting trellis-coded 8-VSB signals in accordance with ATSC A/53 Part 2 and of both single and multiple transmitters emitting Mobile DTV signals in accordance with ATSC A/153 Part 2. The emitted signals from transmitters operated according to this standard comply fully with the requirements of both ATSC A/53 and A/153. This document specifies mechanisms necessary to transmit synchronization signals to the one or several transmitters using a dedicated PID value, including the formatting of packets associated with that PID value and without altering the signal format emitted from the transmitters. It also provides for adjustment of transmitter timing and other characteristics through additional information carried in the specified packet structure. Techniques are provided for cascading transmitters in networks of synchronous translators. In addition, it specifies an alternative method for transmitting synchronization signals to single transmitters operating according to A/153.

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  • A/153, ATSC Mobile DTV Standard, Parts 1 – 10Most Recent Document Approved: Various Dates

    The ATSC Mobile DTV Standard defines the technical specifications necessary for broadcasters to provide new services to mobile and handheld devices using their digital television (DTV) transmissions. The new services for mobile and handheld devices are carried along with current DTV services without any adverse impact on legacy receiving equipment. ATSC Mobile DTV was developed to support a variety of services including free (advertiser-supported) television and interactive services delivered in real-time, subscription-based TV, and file-based content download for playback at a later time. The standard can also be used for transmission of new data broadcasting services.

    A/153 Part 1:2013 – ATSC Mobile DTV System

    A/153 Part 2:2011 – RF/Transmission System Characteristics

    A/153 Part 3:2013 – Service Multiplex and Transport Subsystem Characteristics

    A/153 Part 4:2009 – Announcement

    A/153 Part 5:2009 – Application Framework

    A/153 Part 6:2011 – Service Protection

    A/153 Part 7:2012 – AVC and SVC Video System Characteristics

    A/153 Part 8:2012 – HE AAC Audio System Characteristics

    A/153 Part 9:2013 – Scalable Full Channel Mobile Mode

    A/153 Part 10:2013 – Mobile Emergency Alert System

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