O ATSC, O ATSC, How Lovely Are Thy Standards


Santa’s elves have been devising

Presents delightful and surprising,

With the help of ATSC

For underneath your Christmas tree:

There are presents you will find

Of the next-gen broadcast kind.


ATSC elves have not been napping!

First lets’ look at all the wrapping:

There’s the Bootstrap! But what kind?

(It’s ATSC 3.0, we find.)

It has Advanced Emergency Alerting

For when the populace is hurting.

And next we see there’s a preamble;

To tell what’s in the enclosed scramble.

It’s like a sort of package label

That says “For YOU, if you are able.”

L1 tells the modulation,

And L2 has more information

On the contents coming next;

They put it all into context.

This metadata is a must,

For, data pipes capacious and robust

Are enclosed in such profusion

The preamble keeps you from confusion;

Tells constellations, FEC,

Interleaving and FFT.


With all that, the receiver knows

How to untie the ribbons and bows.

When these phy processes have been applied

You (the receiver) can look inside;

And all the content, widely varied,

In IP packets there is carried,

In just one channel, there’s fixed and mobile,

Giving service truly global:

Not only mobile in HD,

But HDR and UHD;

And apps that launch with the proper call

With triggers or watermarks; and that’s not all;

There are links to broadband content too;

And more that ATSC 3 can do:

Ads inserted per demographic data,

Streaming now or saved for later.


Now you’ve seen an overview

Of ATSC 3.0, and maybe you

Can’t wait to see it all come true!

Don’t let the waiting make you nervous

It will all be there to improve service.

All parts and pieces, a complete creation

And thoroughly worth the anticipation.

Broadcasters all will be elated

When the present arrives that ATSC created.

Like the wait for Santa, anticipation’s intense,

Next-gen broadcasting will soon commence!



ATSC poet laureate Wayne Bretl, a long-time active ATSC participant, is the 2009 recipient of ATSC’s highest technical honor, the Bernard J. Lechner Outstanding Contributor Award. He just retired after a 40-year career with Zenith/LG Electronics, escaping Chicago’s cold and snowy December for his new locale in sunny Arizona.