Posted on August 1, 2012 in ATSC News
That global warming thing seems particularly real this year as most of the country swelters in record-breaking heat. This summer, dozens of ATSC volunteers have been braving the sometimes 100-degree-plus temperatures in the Nation’s Capital for some pretty hot stuff indoors, too – namely the action-packed agenda of our technology & groups and specialist groups.
The Dog Days of Summer used to mean a slower pace while the kids are home from school, business becomes a bit more leisurely, and folks take summer vacations. Not so much anymore, especially at the ATSC where we’re turning up the heat on a wide range of key initiatives that are charting the future course of broadcasting around the world.
In mid-July, your ATSC Board of Directors held its annual strategic retreat, a two-day roll-up-your-sleeves session where we focused on updating the organization’s strategic plan, among other hot topics. Special guest speakers sparked dialog and creative thinking. For example, Tim Lott, VP of Disruptive Innovation for Cox Media Group, discussed “design thinking” and lean start-up principles as ways to drive change in large organizations. Mark McHenry, Founder and CEO of Shared Spectrum Company, highlighted spectrum-efficient RF communications technologies and demonstrated their Dynamic Spectrum Access approach. Qualcomm’s Technology VP Kent Walker briefed directors on lessons learned from the MediaFlo mobile service and explained how an LTE technology called Evolved Multicast Broadcast Multimedia Service (eMBMS) can complement the ATSC A/153 mobile DTV standard for the delivery of TV content to mobile devices.
ATSC standards activities are heating up, too, and I am happy to report significant progress across the board. The highly anticipated ATSC 2.0 – a backwards-compatible suite of enhancements to the ATSC Digital TV Broadcast Standard – is on track to become an ATSC Candidate Standard by year-end. You’ll recall that these new elements, addressing Internet-connected TV, non-real-time transmission, advanced CODECs and more, will give broadcasters and manufacturers more flexibility to deliver exciting applications to consumers. In addition, standardization of at least one of three proposed approaches for the flexible multi-mode 3D-TV broadcast standard is expected to wrap up this year. Standardization of the new mobile emergency alert system (M-EAS) also is now under way.
COOL FUTURE TECHNOLOGIES
As hot as things are with the front-burner projects cooking at the ATSC, there are of course very cool developments in the works for the long-range future of television broadcasting, specifically our revolutionary ATSC 3.0 efforts. Under the capable leadership of PBS’s Jim Kutzner, the TG3 Technology Group is making great progress – gathering inputs for developing ATSC 3.0 system requirements, developing initial physical layer attributes and working on preliminary scenario planning.
ATSC 3.0 dovetails with the global effort known as the Future of Broadcast Television (FoBTV) Initiative, which the ATSC co-founded earlier this year and which I am privileged to chair. August is a busy month as the FoBTV forms its technical committee while the FoBTV management committee meets to finalize plans for a general session at IBC2012 (Sept. 6-11 in Amsterdam).
As the summer winds down, the ATSC looks to the months ahead with eager anticipation. On behalf of the ATSC Board of Directors, I wish to thank the hundreds of member representatives who contribute their time and talents to the ATSC. If you’re not engaged with ATSC 2.0 or ATSC 3.0 activities, now is a great time to play a role in the future of television. Something to think about while on your summer vacation.
Mark Richer, ATSC President
Posted in ATSC News
ATSC is a membership organization with both voting and observer categories. Voting members include corporations, nonprofit organizations, and government entities, and they participate actively in the work of ATSC. Observers are individuals or entities not eligible to be a voting member.
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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.