CHAIRMAN’S CORNER: Phoenix Rising

As this March edition of THE STANDARD is being published, the ATSC is convening our spring series of technical meetings in Phoenix, aka Valley of the Sun. Home to the Phoenix Model Market testbed for Next Gen TV services, the namesake of this city is a symbol of renewal, the mythological bird that flew through the air, burst into flames, and subsequently regenerated itself from its own ashes, better than before. Not a bad metaphor for the technological evolution of digital television broadcasting and the renewal and exciting changes that ATSC 3.0 will bring.

Change is a constant in the world of digital media, and at ATSC, even leadership changes happen once in a while. I’m honored to be your newly minted Board Chair, and the search for a successor to retiring ATSC President Mark Richer is well underway. The (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) Wanted Poster below lists the job qualifications for this position and how and when to apply.

This is a time of transition and optimism for the future, as spotlighted in this issue of THE STANDARD.  Early ATSC 3.0 trials such as those described by Michigan public television station WKAR-TV are certainly a cause for optimism. Mark Corl’s Chat Room column embraces the notion that ATSC’s interactive standard facilitates a flexible platform for broadcasters to innovate and constantly re-invent their services. Likewise, Technology Group Chair Madeleine Noland writes about the evolution ahead for ATSC 3.0 standards and how to keep confusion to a minimum, beginning with the poetic observation that the ATSC 3.0 suite of standards is “a living, breathing body of work.”

Yet with all these changes in personnel, versioning of standards and platform innovations, the ATSC itself is rock solid in its core mission and foundational structures. The Technology Group is updating standards and developing recommended practices. Planning Teams are envisioning the future of broadcasting. Implementation Teams are dealing with how to provide advanced emergency information, conformance testing and other key issues.  And education on ATSC 3.0 at all levels is a continuing effort.

I hope you share my great sense of optimism about ATSC’s current and future accomplishments and accept my sincere thanks for your support during this critical year. The involvement of ATSC members is key to our mission of defining the future of television, so get involved or stay involved—you’ll be glad you did.

Lynn Claudy, 2019 ATSC Board Chairman