Posted on September 2, 2015 in ATSC News
By BRIAN MARKWALTER
Senior Vice President, Research & Standards
Consumer Electronics Association
In concert with the ATSC’s immense efforts to develop and document the ATSC 3.0 suite of standards for next-generation television broadcasting, parallel activities are underway in other standards groups such as the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).
Let’s take a look at CEA’s ATSC 3.0-focused standards activities, specifically the CEA technology and standards group known as R4 Working Group 18 (R4WG18).
CEA’s “Receivers for Next Generation Television” Working Group
CEA is a standards development organization accredited by the American National Standards Institute. As such, R4WG18 is open to those that have an interest in the work. And, in this case, there are a number of broadcaster representatives who also play an active role in this CEA standards activity.
R4WG18 was created specifically to support the ATSC 3.0 terrestrial broadcast emission standard effort with complementary standards and recommended practices for receiver device manufacturers.
The working group’s charter is to “develop standards, recommended practices and technical reports on receiver guidelines, profiles and characteristics.” R4WG18 is co-chaired by Samsung’s Martin Freeman and Sony’s Peter Shintani.
Important ATSC-CEA Liaison Work Lays Foundation
To better understand and support the heavy lifting being done by ATSC member companies in creating the ATSC 3.0 emission standard, a liaison path between ATSC’s many technical groups and R4WG18 was established. That path has helped speed the flow of information between ATSC and CEA regarding the ATSC 3.0 standard and corresponding receiver considerations.
Since R4WG18’s creation in late 2014, more than a dozen liaison exchanges have covered areas of joint interest to broadcast and consumer electronics members including audio, video, runtime environment and watermarks.
In particular, ATSC 3.0 System Requirements and Audio System documents and video format interim documents from ATSC’s S31, S34-2 and S34-1 specialists and ad hoc groups have been especially helpful to R4WG18 members in understanding those aspects of the ATSC 3.0 standards efforts.
First Up: Video Formats for Next-Gen TV Receivers
After numerous meetings to review and discuss those important liaison exchanges, R4WG18 has identified the first element of its overall goal to develop a set of ATSC 3.0 receiver profiles: video formats. R4WG18 also has requested information about video capable devices and receiver deployment strategies, via a separate liaison, from DVB, another standards organization with experience in deploying digital television systems in Europe.
R4WG18 created a gap analysis of current and proposed video formats for both over-the-air (OTA) broadcast and broadband (streaming video) use cases. From that gap analysis the group has recently reached consensus on a lower limit for video formats that should be supported by ATSC 3.0 receivers, primarily fixed, larger screen devices, for the OTA use case. With some yet-to-be-determined details, an initial list of broadband video formats has also been proposed.
The first section of the recommended practice will focus on recommended video formats for “baseline” and “advanced” fixed televisions receivers. The final document is expected to address the audio, runtime and other aspects of both baseline and advanced ATSC 3.0 receivers.
R4WG18 hopes to complete the video formats list and provide a progress report to the R4 Video Systems committee at CEA’s Tech & Standards face-to-face meetings in September.
In addition to leading CEA’s research and standards activities, Markwalter serves on the ATSC Board of Directors.
Posted in ATSC News
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Advanced Television Systems Committee, Inc.
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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.