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ATSC Advances Advanced Transmission Standard

The Advanced Television Systems Committee's Technology Group has approved a key portion of the next-generation broadcast transmission standard, which broadcasters want the FCC to figure into their post incentive auction calculations.

“This is a significant milestone in the adoption of a revolutionary advancement in broadcast technology,” stated Mark Aitken, VP for advanced technology with Sinclair Broadcast Group, a partner in ONE Media, which is helping develop the standard and announced the vote. “By voting to send all aspects of the Physical Layer to Candidate Standard, the ATSC has validated our long-held vision of an IP-based, robust, mobile, dynamic and adaptable transmission standard, allowing us to thrive in the vast ocean of the Internet. We congratulate the ATSC for remarkably quick progress in moving us forward," he said.

“Sending the Physical Layer to Candidate Standard clears the way for the FCC to adopt new rules for the broadcast service,” said Jerald Fritz, ONE Media’s executive VP for strategic and legal affairs in a statement. “The timing is critical so that new equipment can be in place for the expected transition to new channels for many broadcasters as a result of the Spectrum Incentive Auction targeted for next Spring."

An FCC spokesperson had no comment on whether the commission planned to follow that lead.

The new standard will require new TV sets or adaptors, just as the DTV transition did.

Aitken says the key to the new standard is its move from a closed system of limited transport of video into "a broad, universal, digital, IP-based language, fully integrated with the vibrant Internet.”

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.