Geocast clarifies its compliance with standards

Editor: In "Inching to Datacast Specs" (B & C, May 15), there is a reference to Geocast Network Systems Inc. that implies Geocast may not be complying with the ATSC S13 standard for data broadcasting. In an effort to clarify our position on standards, I'm writing to inform your readers that Geocast is complying with the proposed ATSC S13 standard and has actively participated in the S13 standard meetings since last year.

Not only is Geocast's over-the-air protocol compliant with the draft S13 standard and PSIP, our data service is also DVB-compliant at the MPEG-2 transport stream level. We have decided to base our transport on the ATSC endorsed "Data Piping" mechanism because it is the most bit-efficient selection for Geocast among the standardized choices. Furthermore, in so doing, we've opted to build on the standardized MPEG-2 private data section table syntax.

The Geocast service could, in theory, be received with PC-based DTV receivers based on the ATSC S13 standard, although the data processing requirements could be overwhelming for many home PCs. In our current field trials in San Jose, we are testing commercially available PC card data receivers alongside the Geocast receiver. However, as a company, we have decided not to pursue the PC card approach for commercial delivery at this time.

We believe the role of standards is critical to the success and widespread adoption of data broadcasting and will continue our commitment to their development. We look forward to making data broadcasting a viable business solution for digital broadcasters.