Posted on May 1, 2012 in ATSC News
At NAB 2012, the ATSC Tech Zone graduated from the “science fair” of the past to an innovation showcase of some of the broadcasting industry’s most promising new technologies. ATSC members — from U.S. skunkworks labs and technology incubators around the world — wowed attendees.
Dovetailing with our work on ATSC 2.0 backwards-compatible standards developments, 3D TV was front and center in the ATSC Tech Zone, strategically located in the heavily-traveled corridor from the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall and the Las Vegas Hotel. ATSC members from Korea led the way with both KBS and ETRI demonstrating proposed approaches to 3D TV transmission.
THREE APPROACHES TO 3D TV
Joining the Korean Broadcast System to demonstrate Real-Time Hybrid 3D-TV Broadcasting of Full HD 3D content was ATSC member Samsung. “People have been very impressed with the technology,” said Samsung Electronics Principal Engineer Martin Freeman, “both people who didn’t know about anything about it and also from the experts. What’s so impressive is that you can get full HD resolution, with ‘left’ eye viewing from ATSC A/53 and ‘right’ eye viewing over an IP network.”
Not to be outdone, crosstown rival LG Electronics worked with the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute to show how both ATSC A/53 and ATSC A/153 Dr. Ho-Jin Lee, ETRI Senior VP, explained that this method of 3D TV transmission is now being considered by the ATSC for standardization. “There’s lots of interest by broadcasters launching M/H (mobile/handheld) service to see how this 3D approach works,” he said. ETRI also showed Non-Real-Time (NRT) terrestrial high quality 3D-TV broadcasting system that transmits stereoscopic content or additional view of the stereoscopic content in advance using the emerging ATSC NRT standard.
EARSPLITTING AUDIO DEVELOPMENTS
Things were anything but calm in the Linear Acoustics ATSC booth where hundreds of broadcasters learned about how to comply with the CALM Act and Linear Acoustics’ solutions. “The location of the ATSC TechZone at the show was great for traffic, and we are also across the aisle from my company’s NAB booth!” said Mike Richardson, Product Director, Linear Acoustics, which showed a broad range of products “that allow broadcasters to comply with CALM without sacrificing audio quality.”
Speaking of audio, Dolby Labs, best known for high-quality audio and surround sound, demonstrated how the TV experience could be better for the 25 million visually impaired people living in America. ATSC board member Craig Todd explained how enhancements of Dolby Digital Plus provide Surround Descriptive Audio with ATSC-compatible streams.
THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT
Andre Sips, Managing Director of Germany-based Decontis, appreciated the “great reaction at NAB” to their Simple Network Management Protocol-enabled monitoring solution that analyzes and monitors all aspects of Mobile DTV and ATSC broadcasts was. “System engineers and general managers recognize the benefits of a highly configurable monitoring solution that’s already deployed in 70 stations.”
Ryerson demonstrated how Mobile DTV can be used to bridge online resources with TV broadcasts, showing a smartphone-sized Toronto weather application that reads RSS feeds from Environment Canada and could easily be adapted for use in other Canadian cities.
“Not a lot has been demonstrated in rich media applications with ATSC Mobile DTV. We’ve done the research, found out what the standards make possible, and then we’ve put it into a language that App developers understand,” according to Fortner.
“The experience has been exceptional, because the ATSC community shows up here,” said Brad Fortner, Program Director, Rogers Communications Centre at Ryerson University in Toronto. “It’s been great to get together and exchange ideas. We’ve been able to speak with App developers and show them a couple of ideas on how to implement Apps based on Mobile DTV data. “
ATSC 2.0 HERE AND NOW
Finally, drawing lots on interest from international broadcasters attending the show were the Open Smart Alliance and KBS, which showed aspects of ATSC 2.0 including a DTV multicast service called “KoreaView” that is broadcast in MPEG-4 along with special receivers for the advanced transmissions. “Broadcasters from around the world showed interest in this experiment and our capability to transmit four high-quality HD streams in 6MHz,” said J.D. Kim, Senior Engineer on the KBS KoreaView Strategy Team. “It’s exciting to show how ATSC 2.0 can be implemented.”
“HDTV EXPERT” OPINES ON CHANGING INDUSTRY
Veteran industry journalist Pete Putman offers his reflections on the just-completed NAB Show, as the “HDTV Expert” in the online publication HDTV Magazine:
This was my 17th trip to Las Vegas to see what once was one of the world’s largest trade shows. Back in 1995, NAB was clearly focused on broadcasting, mostly the digital kind. The ATSC Grand Alliance had a major presence back in ’95 as the United States began its tentative steps towards an all-digital broadcasting system, and there was no question that terrestrial (over-the-air) television was the king of the hill.
Posted in ATSC News
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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.