ATSC 3.0

The American Television Standards Committee has release a suite of standards defining an ATSC3.0 digital television system.

ATSC 3.0 is a suite of voluntary technical Standards and Recommended Practices that is fundamentally different from the ATSC 1.0 system. This divergence from earlier design is intended to allow substantial improvements in performance, functionality and efficiency sufficient to warrant implementation of a non-backwards-compatible system.

With higher capacity to deliver Ultra High-Definition services, robust reception on a wide range of devices, improved efficiency, IP transport, advanced emergency alerting, personalization features and interactive capability, the ATSC 3.0 Standard provides much more capability than previous generations of terrestrial broadcasting.

Specific improvements over ATSC 1.0 are delivered by the ATSC 3.0 system:

• Support for HD and 4K UHD video resolutions over the air
• Immersive audio including Dolby AC-4
• Higher bandwidth within a given frequency slot offering more and/or higher quality services
• Improved signal robustness via the use of OFDM modulation offering better coverage in built-up areas and for mobile receivers
• Delivery of Non Real Time (NRT) file-based content alongside AV to provide targeted advertising and other enhanced viewing experiences
• Integration with Internet-based AV, file and application delivery to provide an enhanced range of services to the viewer

ATSC 3.0 provides new avenues for revenue generation for US terrestrial broadcasters:

• Additional fees for targeted and interactive advertising
• Provision for subscription and Pay Per View content delivered via broadcast or OTT
• Direct product sales through interactive applications
• Improved audience measurement capabilities

S&T have been engaged with the ATSC 3.0 specification process since 2016, and our main focus is on implementation of the following standards:

• A/331 Signaling, Delivery, Synchronization and Error Protection
• A/332 Service Announcement (ESG)
• A/337 Application Signaling
• A/344 Interactive Content
• A/360 Security and Service Protection

S&T provides a range of products that support delivery and monitoring of ATSC3.0 content for test, trials and production environments:

• ATCaster, a server-based product that generates an ATSC 3.0 broadcast stream.
• ATMonitor, a server-based monitoring tool that analyses an ATSC 3.0 broadcast stream