President’s Memo – Hitting Milestones

Mark RicherHitting Milestones

I am pleased to report that we’re hitting key milestones on the suite of next-generation television broadcasting standards known collectively as ATSC 3.0. On the heels of adopting the ATSC 3.0 Physical Layer Candidate Standard, Technology Group 3 (TG3) members are now in the process of voting to elevate four core sub-systems to Candidate Standard Status.  Ballots for companion devices (A/388), video watermark (A/335) audio watermark (A/334) and service announcement (A/332) close at the end of the month.

We’re still on track to have most ATSC 3.0 elements approved or balloted for Candidate Standards by year end. Coming soon are middle and upper layer standards for video and audio coding, closed captioning, and more. Although ballots for some areas like interactivity and transport are expected in early 2016, the majority of the overall ATSC 3.0 Candidate Standard will be in place for manufacturers to build equipment to support field testing as the standard moves to Proposed Standard status next year.

Marking another key milestone, NERC-DTV hosted a successful ATSC 3.0 “Plug Fest” in Shanghai last month. The collaborative and collegial process proved out interoperability of emission and reception equipment and identified areas for further clarification.  Thank you to NERC-TV for being such gracious hosts, even organizing an ATSC 3.0 Boot Camp, leveraging speakers from ATSC, including Glenn Reitmeier, Rich Chernock, Luke Fay and Lachland Michael.

In conjunction with the ATSC meetings in China, a delegation of the ATSC board also visited broadcasters, manufacturers and government officials in Korea and Japan.  It is gratifying to see the huge amount of interest in our ATSC 3.0 work around the world. In fact, the sense of urgency in Korea – focused on next-gen broadcasting of 4K UHD content in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics – rivals the sense of urgency in the United States as broadcasters plan their post-auction, post-channel-repack future.

More TG3 Candidate Standard ballots coming soon represent an opportunity for members to make their voice heard. As we wrap up a very busy year the ATSC, I wish to thank our members for making the ATSC 3.0 Candidate Standard a reality. 


Mark Richer
ATSC President