ATSC Advances Enhanced TV, Alerts Work
The Advanced Television Systems Committee today announced the formation of new implementation teams for two new emerging standards — ATSC 2.0 and the Mobile Emergency Alert System (M-EAS).
"Today's announcement is a significant step in the move to expand the capabilities of ATSC broadcast TV," said ATSC President Mark Richer. "We want to keep the ATSC standard relevant and up-to-date for broadcasters and consumer device manufacturers.
"The introduction of Implementation Teams for both ATSC 2.0 and M-EAS underscores our progress and will help drive next-generation technologies toward marketplace introduction."
Comprising representatives from companies developing enhancements to digital TV broadcast standards, the new teams will pursue a wide range of initiatives that may include market studies, prototype development, simulations, demonstrations, interoperability "plugfest" testing, field trials, compliance, certification, branding, marketing and promotion as well as further standards recommendations to ATSC.
The backwards-compatible ATSC 2.0 standard will be a bundle of new capabilities including Internet-related features, advanced video coding, conditional access and enhanced service guides for TV broadcasters.
ATSC 2.0 also will include the capabilities of the recently approved ATSC A/103 Non-Real-Time standard that allows broadcasters to deliver file-based content, including programs and clips to both fixed location and Mobile DTV receivers. Among other things, this new NRT standard will give broadcasters the capability to deliver content that a viewer may watch at their convenience.
"The overarching goal of ATSC 2.0 is to create new value for viewers, consumer electronics manufacturers and broadcasters. To that end the ATSC 2.0 Implementation Team provides a venue for industry discussions of issues related to commercialization of the emerging ATSC 2.0 Standard. The 2.0 Implementation Team may address business and operational requirements for the successful roll-out of ATSC 2.0, which is nearing final standardization," Richer explained.
David Siegler of Cox Media will serve as chairman of the ATSC 2.0 Implementation Team. ATSC 2.0 is expected to become a Candidate Standard in the second quarter of 2013.
The move to standardize a Mobile Emergency Alert System responds directly to recent disasters that have crippled communications, according to the ATSC. When disaster strikes, public safety officials need an instantaneous way to reach millions of people at once, ATSC said.
Superstorm Sandy's aftermath in the Northeast demonstrated both the fragile limits of cell phone networks during times of emergency and the life-saving ability of TV broadcasting.
The Mobile EAS will permit a single broadcast to deliver reliable, rich-media alerts to mobile DTV-equipped devices anywhere, anytime.
The new alerting application developed for M-EAS utilizes existing standards for implementation.The U.S. broadcast standard for mobile DTV (ATSC A/153) uses Internet protocol (IP) at its core. The use of IP allows the new application to be flexible and extensible. Data delivery, non-real-time delivery, and electronic service guides are all included.
"The addition of M-EAS with its alerting capabilities and the accompanying rich-media emergency alerting information is widely considered a compelling application of mobile DTV," Richer said. "The ATSC M-EAS Implementation Team provides a venue for industry discussions of issues related to implementation of this exciting enhancement to the A/153 standard."
Jay Adrick of Harris Corp. will serve as chairman of the ATSC 2.0 Implementation Team. Adoption of the ATSC M-EAS standard is expected in the first quarter of 2013.