ATSC Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Top engineers and technology executives from the broadcast, consumer-electronics and cable industries gathered in Washington last week to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), the standards organization that created and implemented the U.S. digital-television standard.

At a cocktail reception, organizers exhibited seminal DTV gear, such as the first Grand Alliance 8-VSB (vestigial sideband) modulator and Zenith's first ATSC decoder box, which sold for $6,000, as well as footage of CBS medical drama The Littlest Victim, which was produced in 1998 using the analog Muse HDTV system.

Richard Wiley, former FCC Chairman and the leader of the FCC's Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service, and now a top communication lawyer, saluted the "profound intellectual and technical contributions the association has made to our nation's digital-television program" and declared that the U.S. "did it right" in the way it set about creating a DTV standard.