PRESIDENT’S MEMO: A Journey, Not a Destination

In July and August, we continue our summertime road trip along the Road to ATSC 3.0.  For the ATSC and our members, this expressway has two parallel fast lanes: A) ongoing standards work to further enhance Next Gen TV, and B) support for broadcaster and manufacturer implementations of Next Gen TV powered by ATSC 3.0.

As the saying goes, this is a journey, not a destination. With the release of the ATSC 3.0 suite of standards and initial broadcaster deployments in the first half of the year, our journey is well under way.  The Technology Group transition is going smoothly with Madeleine Noland from LG now in the driver’s seat as TG Chair, succeeding Rich Chernock who just retired from Triveni Digital and was named by the ATSC Board as TG Chair Emeritus.  Under Madeleine’s leadership, our standards work continues apace. 

In early July, the Technology Group approved the A/323 Proposed Standard for interactivity and the A/327 Proposed Recommended Practice detailing physical layer implementation guidelines.  A/323 covers a dedicated return channel system for ATSC 3.0, defining the uplink for both the physical layer and the media access control layer specifications, while A/327 details ATSC 3.0 physical layer operating modes for broadcasters and provides manufacturers implementation guidelines for flexible configurations of transmitter and receiver designs.

Looking down the road, the ATSC Board of Directors spent two productive days at its summer strategic workshop, focused largely on near- to mid-term broadcaster ATSC 3.0 deployments.  For the longer-term, the Board created a new “Planning Team on Future Video Technologies,” which will be chaired by former ATSC Board Chairman Glenn Reitmeier of NBC Universal:

  • The new planning team (known as “PT4”) will assess the potential advantages and range of improvements that new video compression coding and other video technologies might provide.  
  • PT4 will consider technical and market requirements as well as the potential impact on already-deployed ATSC 3.0 receivers.  The Planning Team will report its findings and recommendations to the ATSC Board along with a discussion of potential timeframes.

Also noteworthy, as highlighted in this July-August issue of THE STANDARD, is the progress of the new Conformance Implementation Team, chaired by Eurofin’s Bob Campbell.  ATSC Implementation Teams – on Conformance, Personalization & Interactivity, and Advanced Emergency Alerting – offer additional opportunities for members to make a difference in important aspects of Next Gen TV deployment.   

As the industry progresses down the Road to ATSC 3.0, now is an exciting time for members to get involved and stay involved.  If you’re not yet a member, please join us on this journey of a lifetime. 

Mark Richer, ATSC President