GOING GLOBAL: USA Proposes ATSC 3.0 as International Digital Broadcast Standard


The United States has proposed international adoption of the ATSC 3.0 digital broadcast standard for use by all countries in the world. This is the first major step in the evaluation process for worldwide acceptance of the Next Gen TV standard.

“We’re delighted to begin this process and look forward to an expedited consideration so that other nations can confidently implement this remarkable new standard”

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The U.S. delegation proposed ATSC 3.0 – the world’s first Internet-Protocol-based television broadcast standard – to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) working group that develops and maintains worldwide recommendations, reports and handbooks on the broadcasting service. The U.S. effort was actively supported by the South Korean delegation with significant assistance from the Korean Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute.

“We’re delighted to begin this process,” said U.S. delegation spokesman Larry Olson of the FCC’s International Bureau. “We look forward to an expedited consideration so that other nations can confidently implement this remarkable new standard.”

NAB’s Lynn Claudy, 2019 ATSC board chairman, called international acceptance ATSC 3.0 “quite appropriate given the extensive work of engineers from around the world to craft this state-of-the-art standard with built-in capabilities to evolve as the markets warrant.”

By injecting ATSC 3.0 into the current recommendation for second-generation digital platforms, the United States noted that the ATSC 3.0 standard is designed to deliver improvements in performance, functionality and efficiency so substantial to warrant implementation of a non-backwards-compatible system. 

Jerald Fritz presented the proposal on behalf of the U.S. delegation. “The Next Gen transmission standard will provide consumers with a host of new services and expand opportunities for broadcasters and service providers around the world,” said Fritz, , executive vice president of ONE Media 3.0.

Among ATSC 3.0’s attributes of interest to broadcasters around the world are: enhanced audio and video services, robust mobile reception, improved spectrum efficiency, advanced emergency information, personalization features and interactive capabilities.  According to Fritz, the broadcast-broadband ATSC 3.0 standard also “can be part of the 5G transmission ecosystem for non-television data transmission services.”

In support of the new standard, the U.S. delegation presented the ATSC’s Advanced Emergency Information Implementation Guide that highlights life-saving services that are expected to be of particular interest both to countries upgrading their digital systems and those still migrating from analog to digital broadcasting.

Several additional ITU Reports and Recommendations were identified to be modified, reflecting the new ATSC 3.0 standard. Accelerated action on the U.S. proposal is expected at the next ITU working party meetings in July.

The ATSC 3.0 suite of voluntary technical standards and recommended practices has been adopted in both the United States and the Republic of Korea. It will provide an alternative to other digital terrestrial television standards including the European DVB-T, Japanese/ Brazilian ISDB-T, and Chinese DTMB platforms.