President’s Memo: ‘Tis the Season

Mark Richer

‘Tis the season to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. Here at the ATSC, ‘tis the season to celebrate ATSC 3.0 Candidate Standards!

This year-end issue of THE STANDARD chronicles our progress during a particularly busy year. Believe it or not, ATSC technology groups, specialist groups and ad hoc groups participated in 576 meetings, adding up to an estimated 13,018 person-hours of work on next-gen broadcasting standards that involved more than 373,000 Email communications.

Like most things in life, it’s not the input that counts – it’s the output. And I am very proud of our members’ 2015 accomplishments, capped by 10 additional ATSC 3.0 standards moving to Candidate Standard status this month. These include major elements like video encoding, Internet Protocol transport, electronic service guides, second-screen services and closed captioning.

This has been a landmark year for next-generation broadcasting standards. The lion’s share of ATSC Candidate Standards for core technologies in the ATSC 3.0 suite of standards will be in place, as planned, by year-end for stakeholders to prepare for field testing in 2016.

The Candidate Standard phase is not a time to take a breath. It’s is a critical time for broadcasters to implement test services and for professional and consumer equipment manufacturers to fine-tune their prototypes and demonstrate the capabilities of ATSC 3.0. And it’s the time for all stakeholders to work together on any necessary clarifications to the standards documents to assure interoperability.

Member voting is now underway for election of members of the ATSC Board of Directors for three-year terms starting Jan. 1. For the five open board seats, there are eight candidates, including three current directors standing for re-election. In this issue of THE STANDARD, I emphasize the important role of the board and urge ATSC members to Vote Early and Often.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Glenn Reitmeier of NBC Universal for his leadership as he concludes his three terms as ATSC Board Chairman. Huge thanks also go to the 59 volunteer leaders of specialist and ad hoc groups, led by TG3 Chairman Rich Chernock and TG1 Chairman Mike Dolan. And I especially want to thank our 150-plus member organizations for their passion, technical expertise and contributions to our collective successes in 2015.

‘Tis the season to celebrate our accomplishments. Equally importantly, as we finalize the few remaining Candidate Standards for audio, security and interactive capabilities in early 2016, ‘tis the season to look ahead with eager anticipation to the New Year.

Mark Richer, ATSC President