ATSC Evaluating Detailed ‘Physical Layer’ Technical Proposals for Next-Generation ATSC 3.0 TV Transmission System

Representing a major milestone in the development of the next-generation broadcast standard, the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has received detailed technical proposals for the Physical Layer of the “ATSC 3.0” broadcast TV transmission standard.

Expected to move to “candidate standard” status over the next two years, ATSC 3.0 will be designed to include higher capacity to deliver Ultra High-Definition TV services, robust reception on mobile devices and improved spectrum efficiency.

“These highly technical proposals are thoughtful, innovative and professional. While a wide range of technologies were proposed by respondents, there’s some commonality among many of them. Submissions are very detailed, and generally each of the submissions is hundreds of pages in length. They reflect the thinking of the best minds in the broadcast industry, and we salute the many engineers and business people who have already invested significant resources to develop technologies for ATSC to evaluate,” said ATSC President Mark Richer.

ATSC 3.0 Defined
The ATSC 3.0 Physical Layer will define the modulation and error coding technologies to provide a foundation for the next terrestrial broadcast system.

A primary goal of the ATSC 3.0 Physical Layer is to provide TV service to both fixed and mobile devices. Multiple types of TV receivers, including fixed devices (such as traditional living room and bedroom TV sets), handheld devices, vehicular screens and portable receivers will be considered in the work on ATSC 3.0.  Spectrum efficiency and robust service will be key areas of evaluation.  Increased data rates to support new services such as Ultra-High-Definition services will be considered.

Robustness of service for devices operating within the ATSC 3.0 service area should exceed that of current ATSC systems and that of cell phone and other wireless devices.  Consideration will be given to technologies and proposals that enable a smooth transition from existing systems for both broadcasters and consumer.

“The next big step in the process is a series of meetings in October where each respondent will be asked to give tutorial presentations to the ATSC Specialist Group that is evaluating the proposed systems. We expect ATSC 3.0 to reach Candidate Standard status in the first quarter of 2015, with a final standard for member vote later that year.  A final standard is possible in 2016,” Richer explained.

For summaries of each of the ATSC 3.0 Physical Layer technical proposals, please go here.

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