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ATSC Hails End Of Analog TV

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), the organization that created the U.S. digital TV standard, saluted the turnoff of high-powered over-the-air signals Friday and the official end of the 68-year-old NTSC (National Television System Committee) standard.

“As we end the era of analog television broadcasting, we celebrate its success and look forward to broadcasting’s exciting digital future,” said ATSC Chairman Glenn Reitmeier in a statement. “The NTSC analog television system was a technological marvel for its time that has served us well – we salute its innovators and pioneers for their spectacular achievements. The ATSC Digital Television system brings broadcasting into the digital age – its flexibility to deliver various combinations of high-definition, standard definition and mobile television is just the beginning, as we continue to develop the tremendous potential of digital broadcasting.”

ATSC noted that there should be 140-150 million ATSC receivers in U.S. homes by the end of the year, according to estimates from the Consumer Electronics Association. The ATSC standard has also been adopted by the governments of Canada, South Korea, Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador.

“We will remember analog television fondly, but look forward to the all digital broadcast world” said ATSC President Mark Richer in a statement. “One of the great things about digital television is its flexibility and ability to evolve. We are currently focused on the development of new standards that will enable mobile and handheld service (ATSC Mobile DTV), file-based non-real-time program delivery (ATSC-NRT) and the next generation of services for fixed receivers (ATSC 2.0).”