A new 81-page document, the product of station groups representing hundreds of TV stations, vendors and consultants, offers guidance to broadcasters to help them through their transition from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0.
A new guide released this week aims to make the transition from the existing standard for digital TV used by U.S. broadcasters to ATSC 3.0 a bit easier and more understandable for station and group management, engineers and other technical staff.
Available online at the GatesAir website, the work, an 81-page PDF document entitled the “ATSC 3.0 Transition and Implementation Guide,” provides a detailed examination of what broadcasters must consider and do to prepare for next-gen TV service with special attention paid to how the FCC spectrum repack affects things.
“ATSC 3.0 is rounding third base and heading into the home stretch. It’s time for managers, engineers, and planners at all levels to look ahead and get ready for the requirements,” said Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV.
The guide is the product of major television station groups, including Sinclair Broadcast Group, Cox Media Group and Raycom, the Pearl TV consortium as a whole (Cox and Raycom are part of Pearl), and various industry vendors and engineering consultancies, including American Tower, Dielectric, Ericsson, GatesAir, Harmonic, Hitachi Kokusai Electric Comark, Triveni Digital, Meintel, Sgrignoli & Wallace and Digital Tech Consulting.
The information is presented in two major parts, a technical primer and real-world implementation. The guide also includes an addendum on ATSC 3.0 field testing.
Topics covered in the primer include: an overview of the ATSC 3.0 system; the standard’s layered architecture; an illustrated system overview; a description of the applications and presentation layer; an explanation of protocols and the management layer; discussion of interconnecting the layers; and an examination of the physical layer.
Unlike with ATSC 1.0, broadcasters deploying the next-gen standard have the ability to tune their transmission infrastructure to the specific service models and businesses opportunities they wish to pursue. The guide also tackles this aspect of the new standard in its real-world implementation section.
Topics include: a discussion of service models, the trade-offs between use cases and the necessary operating models for each, including six specific use cases; a discussion of ATSC 3.0 system building blocks; approaches to transitioning stations in a market; and planning for ATSC 3 as part of spectrum repack.
“Without question, proper planning is required to meet the expectations of both the spectrum repack and the enhancements needed to transmit ATSC 3.0. That’s why we supported this effort to develop a planning guide for the transition,” said Peter Starke, VP of broadcast at American Tower.
Myra Moore and Jay Adrick of Digital Tech Consulting served as editors of the guide.