Technology Group 3

Scope of TG3

The ATSC Technology Group 3 (TG3), with due regard for existing standards organizations and activities, develops and maintains voluntary, international technical Standards, Recommended Practices and other documents for the distribution of television programs and other data using advanced terrestrial broadcast technology, internet and other transports. Technologies considered may be improvements to current systems or entirely new systems that are compatible or incompatible with current systems. As appropriate, TG3 may engage in activities to address implementation issues regarding ATSC Standards and other documents.


TG3: Chair – Madeleine Noland, LG

Madeleine Noland began her television career with Backchannelmedia (BCM) in 2004. BCM created Clickable TV®, an end-to-end interactive television system for local broadcast stations based on EBIF technology.
She then became the ATSC member representative for BCM. After BCM, she moved onto Telvue, successfully guiding the company to consensus on its product road map acting as “product owner” in an agile development process. She continued her participation in ATSC as a member representative for Telvue. Noland joined LG in 2013 and became the ATSC TG3 Chair in May, 2018. Noland is the recipient of the 2016 ATSC Bernard J. Lechner Outstanding Contributor Award.

TG3 Specialist Groups

TG3/S31: System Requirements and Program Management

Chair: Skip Pizzi, NAB
Vice-Chair: Ms. Madeleine Noland, Zenith Electronics LLC


The Specialist Group on ATSC 3.0 System Requirements and Program Management (called TG3/S31) will solicit use cases and develop scenarios, and examine them within various industry contexts for the next-generation digital television broadcast system (ATSC 3.0). These scenarios will be used to derive a set of System Requirements and the associated Glossary for ATSC 3.0, which will in turn enable the development of Technical Standards and Recommended Practices for such future service by TG3 and its other subgroups. The group will manage the ongoing development and documentation of these System Requirements and Glossary as appropriate over time.

The group will assist in the review, coordination and consolidation of work within TG3’s subgroups, including reviewing subgroup output for adherence to the System Requirements, coordinating interdependent deliverables and timelines, assisting in identifying and resolving work overlaps or gaps between groups, drafting outlines and shared sections of documents requiring multiple subgroup input, and other similar tasks as assigned by TG3.


The Specialist Group on System Requirements and Program Management, TG3/S31, has developed Requirements for the ATSC 3.0 system, based on its solicitation and collection of use cases for a next-generation television system from around the world the group, and extraction of 13 “Usage Scenarios” describing the desired attributes of the ATSC 3.0 system. From these scenarios the group developed an initial set of System Requirements that TG3 assigned to various other Specialist Groups as guidance for the drafting of language for the ATSC 3.0 standard.

The group has moved into a maintenance mode on this front, where additional Requirements are no longer actively solicited. Reevaluation of existing Requirements may still be considered should adequate cause to do so be presented.

The group has also engaged in other activities regarding prioritization and the coordination of Requirements’ fulfillment by other Specialist Groups in TG3, as well as drafting and maintenance of the overall “System Standard” (A/300) for ATSC 3.0, and developing a process for version control of the standard.

TG3/S32: Specialist Group on Physical Layer for ATSC 3.0

Chair: Luke Fay, Sony
Vice-Chair: Mr. William Hayes, IEEE — Broadcast Technology Society


The Specialist Group on Physical Layer for ATSC 3.0 (called TG3/S32) will examine, assess, and possibly recommend technical proposal(s) for the physical layer(s) of the next generation digital terrestrial television broadcast system (ATSC 3.0). Interoperability with non-broadcast distribution systems (both traditional and non-traditional) will be considered. The term “television” should not in any way constrain the Specialist Group from considering physical layer technologies, systems and services that may currently fall outside the traditionally defined boundaries of television broadcasting.


The Specialist Group on Physical Layer for ATSC 3.0, TG3/S32, has delivered two standards for broadcast data downlinks: A/321 “System Discovery and Signaling” specification in 2016, an update to A/322 “Physical Layer Protocol” specifications in 2017 and another update soon to be released early 2019. The committee has delivered one standard for data uplink to broadcaster stations with A/323 “Dedicated Return Channel for ATSC 3.0” specification in 2018.

To complete the link between broadcaster studios and exciters as well has interface with the middle layer of ATSC 3.0, the committee has delivered A/324 “Studio to Transmitter Link” in 2018.  That standard is currently being updated to include security and feature options as well as clarifications.  That update should come in 2019. 

Plug Fests have been conducted over the last 2 years to prove out the technology and ensure proper implementations.  The physical layer is proven to function as designed and has many implementations in the field by a variety of vendors.

Recommended Practices are also available to help readers get better understandings and help test the described technologies.  Those Recommended Practices are: A/325 “ATSC 3.0 PHY Lab Performance Test Plan” which was updated with minor clarifications in 2018, A/326 “ATSC 3.0 Field Test Plan” which was delivered in 2017 and A/327 “Guidelines for the Physical Layer Protocol” which was delivered in 2018.  These are open for any organization to use and ATSC hopes that results can be shared with S32 to complete the full picture of what the ATSC 3.0 Physical Layer can achieve. 

TG3/S33: Specialist Group on Management and Protocols

Chair: Dr. Youngkwon Lim, Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
Vice-Chair: Mr. Charles Lo, Qualcomm, Inc.
Vice-Chair: Ralf Schaefer, Technicolor


The Specialist Group on Management and Protocols (called TG3/S33) will solicit, examine and assess technical proposals and develop Standards and Recommended Practices related to technologies for the management and delivery of ATSC 3.0 services and associated metadata, over terrestrial broadcast channels and, if appropriate, broadband/bi-directional networks, to fulfill the relevant ATSC 3.0 System Requirements.


The Specialist Group on Management & Protocols, (called TG3/S33), was formed to primarily focus on technologies for the management and delivery of ATSC 3.0 services and associated metadata. S33 has formed three ad hoc groups. The first ad-hoc group (S33-1) is working on service delivery and synchronization while the second ad-hoc group (S33-2) is working on service announcement and personalization. The third ad-hoc group (S33-3) is working on interactive services, companion screen services, and redistribution support. S33 and each of its ad-hoc groups has delivered and is maintaining several standards, A/330 “Link-Layer Protocol,” A/331 “Signaling, Delivery, Synchronization, and Error Protection,” A/332 “Service Announcement,” A/333 “Service Usage Reporting,” A/334 “Audio Watermark Emission,” A/335 “Video Watermark Emission,” A/336 “Content Recovery in Redistribution Scenario.” and A/337 “Application Signaling.” S33 and each of its ad-hoc groups has also delivered a recommended practice, A/339 “Audio Watermark Modification and Erasure.” S33-1 is currently finalizing two recommended practices related to A/330 and A/331.

TG3/S34: Specialist Group on Applications and Presentation for ATSC 3.0

Chair: Chris Homer, Gaian Solutions Inc.


The Specialist Group on Applications and Presentation for ATSC 3.0 (called TG3/S34) will examine and assess technical proposals and develop Standards and Recommended Practices for presentation of the next generation digital terrestrial television broadcast system to fulfill the relevant ATSC 3.0 System Requirements. The Specialist Group will primarily focus on the portion of the ATSC 3.0 platform that defines the user experience. The work may include, but is not limited to, content essence (video, audio, captions), formats, support for audio and video codec systems, linear TV services, accessibility (including video description and closed captions) and other features as defined by evolving system requirements across a multi-path delivery, multi-device ecosystem.


The Specialist Group on Applications & Presentation, (called TG3/S34), was formed to focus on the portion of the ATSC 3.0 platform that defines the user experience. S34 consists of four ad hoc groups whose tasks are roughly divided as follows: video, audio, conceptual model/framework, and accessibility. The video group responsible for defining video formats including interlace/progressive scan, frame rate, spatial resolution, dynamic range, color gamut, layering technologies (e.g., SHVC) etc. has completed their work, A/341, with the exception of documenting 2094-40 which is currently in Candidate Standard. They may look at advanced video codecs in the future. The audio group selected two systems, AC-4 and MPEG-H, A/342 Parts 1-3, and is currently working on an audio Recommended Practice. The conceptual model/framework group completed their work which is now part of A/300 Annex C. The accessibility group has completed a standard for Closed Captions, A/343, using technologies based on IMSC1 and will continue their work in S34, such as drafting a Recommended Practice on Closed Captions. S34 continues working closely with other ATSC 3.0 groups to ensure its work plan conforms to the overall ATSC 3.0 target schedule, to the extent possible.

TG3/S35: Specialist Group on ATSC 3.0 Ecosystem

Chair: S. Merrill Weiss, Merrill Weiss Group
Vice-Chair: Peter Sockett, WRAL-HD


The Specialist Group on the ATSC 3.0 Ecosystem (called TG3/S35) will model and evaluate the environment in which ATSC 3.0 systems will be deployed. The processes of modeling and evaluation will consider the flow of content from acquisition through post production, distribution, emission, and redistribution. The Specialist Group will examine each of the types of content and functionality impacting on a fully operational ATSC 3.0 broadcast system. The examination will include such layers as video, audio, captioning, interactivity, program and service management and announcements (including emergency alerting), content identification, security, synchronization, monitoring, and redistribution by other delivery methods. The models developed will include at least block diagrams that cover the typical content and data workflows that will feed into and be associated with ATSC 3.0 emissions. This work will be published to facilitate decisions made by other ATSC Specialist Groups and to instigate development of standards by ATSC and/or other standards development organizations when gaps in required standards are found.

TG3/S36: Specialist Group on ATSC 3.0 Security

Chair: Adam Goldberg, AGP LLC
Vice-chair: Chris Homer, Gian Solutions


The Specialist Group on the ATSC 3.0 Security (called TG3/S36) will develop standards and other documents that describe the security and conditional access infrastructure of the ATSC 3.0 system, including mechanisms for supporting conditional access features like pay-per-view and subscription services. This also includes mechanisms for cryptographically protecting communications within the ATSC 3.0 system and cryptographic verification of downloaded applications.


TG3/S36 is developing standard(s) and recommended practice(s) for security technologies for ATSC 3.0, based largely on existing standards.

TG3/S37: Specialist Group on Conversion and Redistribution of ATSC 3.0 Service

Chair: Steve Calzone
Vice-Chair: Jeff Hamilton, Hamilton Technologies


ATSC TG3/S37 develops and maintains Recommended Practices, Standards, and other documents relating to the conversion and redistribution of ATSC 3.0 services.


TG3/S37 is currently working on completing a recommended practice on “Conversion of ATSC 3.0 Services for Redistribution.”  This RP for ATSC 3.0 redistribution is based on an examination of common use cases, and includes descriptions of the differences from ATSC 1.0 implementations, along with recommendations on conversion processes, and references to standard conversion practices. Additionally, S37 is planning on its next work effort to complete an RP on next generation services redistribution.

TG3/S38: Specialist Group on Interactive Environment

Chair: Mark Corl, Triveni Digital
Vice-Chair: Luke Fay, Sony


The Specialist Group on Interactive Environment for ATSC 3.0 (called TG3/S38) examines and assesses technical proposals regarding interactive applications and their companion devices. This analysis is done in order to develop Standards and Recommended Practices that describe a supporting environment delivered via the next generation digital terrestrial television broadcast system. S38 may undertake other related tasks as defined by system requirements or as assigned by TG3.


The Specialist Group on Interactive Environment, TG3/S38, was formed from an TG3/S34 Ad Hoc Group to focus on the portion of the ATSC 3.0 platform that defines the interactive user experience. The group has produced the A/344 standard which is based on W3C technologies supplemented by APIs designed for the broadcast television use case. This standard must be periodically revised to maintain consistency with the fast-moving Internet standards on which it is based. The group is also responsible for the A/338 Companion Device standard which describes how network-connected devices may interact with an ATSC 3.0 receiver. This standard is also based on Internet technologies so too may require periodic revisions to conform to the latest Internet conventions.

TG3/S39: Specialist Group on ATSC 1.0

Chair: Michael Dolan
Vice-Chair: Mark Corl, Triveni Digital


The Specialist Group on ATSC 1.0 (called TG3/S39) is responsible for all ATSC “1.0”-related Standards and Recommended Practices. S39 develops new ATSC “1.0” documents if needed, provides maintenance of ATSC “1.0” documents, and works with the other TG3 Specialist Groups as needed.


TG3/S39 is currently (January 2019) working on a standard to assist in the frequency “repack” by announcing over ATSC “1.0” the channel frequency transitions and timing.  This is called the Regional Service Availability Table (RSAT) and its Candidate Standard draft is here.