A virtual channel is the designation, usually a number, that is recognized by the user as the single entity that will provide access to an analog TV program or a set of one or more digital elementary streams. It is called “virtual” because its identification (name and number) may be defined independently from its physical location.
Source: 90, 92, 93, 94, 95
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The Advanced Television Systems Committee, Inc., is an international, non-profit organization developing voluntary standards and recommended practices for digital terrestrial broadcasting. ATSC member organizations represent the broadcast, broadcast equipment, motion picture, consumer electronics, computer, cable, satellite, and semiconductor industries. ATSC also develops digital terrestrial broadcasting implementation strategies and supports educational activities on ATSC standards.