President’s Memo: Pardon Our Dust; Construction Continues Apace

As we enter a very busy fourth quarter, the ATSC’s primary focus is on building the final “floors” of the ATSC 3.0 standard. The core elements of the standard – being built from the ground up – are completed, allowing South Korea to launch Next Gen TV powered by ATSC 3.0, while in the United States, we await word from the FCC about adopting rules based on our already final standards that will allow broadcasters to voluntarily launch Next Gen TV services with ATSC 3.0.

As with any major construction project, as more stories are built, there’s also work on the building infrastructure, and I’m pleased to report continued progress. For instance, ATSC members are now voting on the A/300 ATSC 3.0 System standard. The TG3 Technology Group is in the process of voting to move the A/323 Physical Layer Uplink draft standard to Candidate Standard status; TG3 also approved the Proposed Recommended Practice ballot for A/339 (Audio Watermark Erasure/Modification). And TG3 Proposed Standards ballots are expected soon for Application Signaling (A/337) and Interactive Content (A/344). 

This progress is reflected in the growing strong interest in Next Gen TV around the world.  In this month’s STANDARD, you’ll read about how ATSC 3.0 is being addressed in both the professional broadcast market at the recent IBC Show in Amsterdam and with high-end home theater integrators at the CEDIA Show in San Diego.  More sessions about the emerging standard are planned at the 2017 NAB Show New York and related TV2020 Conference sponsored by TVNewsCheck coming up later this month.

It’s clear that both ends of the Next Gen TV stream are getting ready for this fundamental change in broadcasting, which will deliver new tools and flexibility for broadcasters and ultimately better, more rich-media information and entertainment to viewers at home.

I’m grateful to the many volunteers who are helping us build out our suite of more than 20 standards and recommended practices, and I’m hopeful that the next few months will bring construction to a successful conclusion so that broadcasters can begin to focus on how best to offer upgraded ATSC 3.0 services to their viewers.

Mark Richer, ATSC President