ATSC makes progress on 3.0 next-gen TV spec

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 09 May 2015

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has voted to elevate the System Discovery and Signalling portion of the ATSC 3.0 spec to Candidate Standard status.

The element is part of the physical layer transmission piece for next-generation TV broadcasts. It will remain a Candidate Standard for nine months while prototype equipment is built and tested, before being voted on for becoming part of the final standard.

“The Candidate Standard process for ATSC 3.0 is officially under way,” said ATSC president Mark Richer.

The technology is a “bootstrap,” he added. It provides a universal entry point into a broadcast waveform for all receiver devices. It carries information to enable processing and decoding the wireless service associated with a detected bootstrap signal, as well as a flag that indicates that an Emergency Alert is in effect.

“Simply put, the bootstrap is a low-level signal that tells a receiver to decode and process wireless services multiplexed in a broadcast channel,” he explained. “It’s designed to be a very robust signal and detectable even at low signal levels.”

He added, “Many other services, at least some of which have likely not yet even been conceived, could also be provided by a broadcaster and identified within a transmitted signal through the use of a bootstrap signal associated with each particular service. This new capability ensures that broadcast spectrum can be adapted to carry new services in the years ahead,” Richer said.

Other physical-layer pieces, including the modulation system, error correction algorithms, constellations and other aspects, are expected to be balloted for ATSC Candidate Standard status this summer.