ATSC standards

ATSCdigitaldigital facilitiesATSC 3.0ATSC Digital Systemdigital signaldigitallyanaloganalog cable TV systemAsia/Pacific Committee
Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) standards are a set of standards for digital television transmission over terrestrial, cable, and satellite networks.wikipedia
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NTSC

analog30panalogue broadcasting
It is largely a replacement for the analog NTSC standard, and like that standard, used mostly in the United States, Mexico and Canada. ATSC replaced much of the analog NTSC television system in the United States on June 12, 2009, on August 31, 2011 in Canada, on December 31, 2012 in South Korea, and on December 31, 2015 in Mexico.
NTSC was the first widely adopted broadcast color system and remained dominant until the 2000s, when it started to be replaced with different digital standards such as ATSC and others.

8VSB

8-VSB8-Bit Vestigal SidebandATSC
Key among these is the 8VSB modulation system used for over-the-air broadcasts. Many aspects of ATSC are patented, including elements of the MPEG video coding, the AC-3 audio coding, and the 8VSB modulation.
8VSB is the modulation method used for broadcast in the ATSC digital television standard.

Advanced Television Systems Committee

ATSCAdvanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC)
The standard is now administered by the Advanced Television Systems Committee.
The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) is the group, established in 1982, that developed the eponymous ATSC standards for digital television in the United States.

Television channel

channeltelevision channelsTV channel
The reduced bandwidth requirements of lower-resolution images allow up to six standard-definition "subchannels" to be broadcast on a single 6 MHz TV channel.
For example, in North America, "channel 2" refers to the broadcast or cable band of 54 to 60 MHz, with carrier frequencies of 55.25 MHz for NTSC analog video (VSB) and 59.75 MHz for analog audio (FM), or 55.31 MHz for digital ATSC (8VSB).

Digital television transition in the United States

transitioned from analog to digital broadcastsfederally mandated transition from analog to digital televisiontransition from analog to digital broadcasts
ATSC replaced much of the analog NTSC television system in the United States on June 12, 2009, on August 31, 2011 in Canada, on December 31, 2012 in South Korea, and on December 31, 2015 in Mexico.
The transition from the analog NTSC format to the digital ATSC format was originally required to be completed on February 17, 2009, as set by Congress in the Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005.

CEA-708

As with other systems, ATSC depends on numerous interwoven standards, e.g. the EIA-708 standard for digital closed captioning, leading to variations in implementation.
CEA-708 is the standard for closed captioning for ATSC digital television (DTV) streams in the United States and Canada.

H.264/MPEG-4 AVC

H.264AVCH.264/AVC
ATSC Standard A/72 was approved in 2008 and introduces H.264/AVC video coding to the ATSC system. The new standards support 1080p at 50, 59.94 and 60 frames per second; such frame rates require H.264/AVC High Profile Level 4.2, while standard HDTV frame rates only require Levels 3.2 and 4, and SDTV frame rates require Levels 3 and 3.1.
It is also widely used by streaming Internet sources, such as videos from Vimeo, YouTube, and the iTunes Store, Web software such as the Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft Silverlight, and also various HDTV broadcasts over terrestrial (ATSC, ISDB-T, DVB-T or DVB-T2), cable (DVB-C), and satellite (DVB-S and DVB-S2).

Digital television transition

digital switchoveranalog shutdowntransition
Other former users of NTSC, like Japan, have not used ATSC during their digital television transition because they adopted their own system called ISDB.
🇧🇲 Bermuda: The Bermuda Broadcasting Company terminated over-the-air NTSC-M broadcasts as of March 2016. ZFB-TV (analog channel 7) and ZBM-TV (analog channel 9), the two television stations in Bermuda, have now switched to digital channels 20.1 and 20.2, respectively. Like its parent nation (the United Kingdom) and unlike the United States, Canada and the Bahamas (which have been transitioning to ATSC), Bermuda switched over to DVB-T.

Grand Alliance (HDTV)

Grand AllianceAdvisory Committee on Advanced Television ServicesDigital HDTV Grand Alliance
The ATSC standards were developed in the early 1990s by the Grand Alliance, a consortium of electronics and telecommunications companies that assembled to develop a specification for what is now known as HDTV. MPEG-2 audio was a contender for the ATSC standard during the DTV "Grand Alliance" shootout, but lost out to Dolby AC-3.
The Grand Alliance DTV system is the basis for the ATSC standard.

Virtual channel

virtualLCNchannel
Instead, virtual channels, sent as part of the metadata along with the program(s), allow channel numbers to be remapped from their physical RF channel to any other number 1 to 99, so that ATSC stations can either be associated with the related NTSC channel numbers, or all stations on a network can use the same number.
Free-to-air ATSC uses the DigiCipher 2 method to maintain the same television frequency channel allocation that the NTSC channel was using when both were simulcasting so the same number could bring up either service.

High-definition television

HDTVhigh definitionHD
The ATSC standards were developed in the early 1990s by the Grand Alliance, a consortium of electronics and telecommunications companies that assembled to develop a specification for what is now known as HDTV.
In the US the Grand Alliance proposed ATSC as the new standard for SDTV and HDTV.

Distributed transmission system

distributed transmissionDTSdistributed
There is also a standard for distributed transmission systems (DTx), a form of single-frequency network which allows for the synchronised operation of multiple on-channel booster stations.
While the idea of a single-frequency network of multiple transmitters broadcasting the same programming on the same channel from multiple transmitter sites is not a new concept, the ATSC digital television standard in use in North America was not designed for this mode of operation and was poorly adapted to these applications.

Broadcast relay station

translatortranslator stationbroadcast translator
There is also a standard for distributed transmission systems (DTx), a form of single-frequency network which allows for the synchronised operation of multiple on-channel booster stations.
Digital television stations are technically capable of sharing a channel, however this is more difficult with the 8VSB modulation and invariable guard interval used in the ATSC standard than with COFDM used in the European and Australian DVB-T standard.

Datacasting

datacastdata broadcastingdata
Numerous auxiliary datacasting services can also be provided.
The ATSC, DVB and ISDB standards allow for broadband datacasting via DTT, though they do not necessarily define how.

Terrestrial television

Broadcastover-the-airterrestrial
Key among these is the 8VSB modulation system used for over-the-air broadcasts.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Advanced Television Systems Committee developed the ATSC standard for digital high definition terrestrial transmission.

720p

720i1280x7201280Ă—720
ATSC includes two primary high definition video formats, 1080i and 720p.
When broadcast at 60.00 frames/s frames per second, 720p features the highest temporal resolution possible under the ATSC and DVB standards.

Digital television

digitaldigital TVDTV
Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) standards are a set of standards for digital television transmission over terrestrial, cable, and satellite networks. MPEG-2 audio was a contender for the ATSC standard during the DTV "Grand Alliance" shootout, but lost out to Dolby AC-3.
Advanced Television System Committee (ATSC) uses eight-level vestigial sideband (8VSB) for terrestrial broadcasting. This standard has been adopted by six countries: United States, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Dominican Republic and Honduras.

Closed captioning

closed captionsclosed captioncaptioning
As with other systems, ATSC depends on numerous interwoven standards, e.g. the EIA-708 standard for digital closed captioning, leading to variations in implementation.
The Act requires, in part, for ATSC-decoding set-top box remotes to have a button to turn on or off the closed captioning in the output signal.

MPEG transport stream

TSVideo PIDtransport stream
For transport, ATSC uses the MPEG systems specification, known as an MPEG transport stream, to encapsulate data, subject to certain constraints.
It is used in broadcast systems such as DVB, ATSC and IPTV.

Dolby Digital

Dolby Digital 5.1AC3AC-3
ATSC supports 5.1-channel surround sound using Dolby Digital's AC-3 format. MPEG-2 audio was a contender for the ATSC standard during the DTV "Grand Alliance" shootout, but lost out to Dolby AC-3.
ATSC A/52 (name of the standard)

Interlaced video

interlacedinterlaceinterlacing
The formats are listed here by resolution, form of scanning (progressive or interlaced), and number of frames (or fields) per second (see also the TV resolution overview at the end of this article).
It is still included in digital video transmission formats such as DV, DVB, and ATSC.

1080p

full HD1080p301080p HD
The new standards support 1080p at 50, 59.94 and 60 frames per second; such frame rates require H.264/AVC High Profile Level 4.2, while standard HDTV frame rates only require Levels 3.2 and 4, and SDTV frame rates require Levels 3 and 3.1.
1080p video signals are supported by ATSC standards in the United States and DVB standards in Europe.

MPEG-2

MPEG2DVDH.262 / MPEG-2 Part 2 video
MPEG-2 audio was a contender for the ATSC standard during the DTV "Grand Alliance" shootout, but lost out to Dolby AC-3.
One is the transport stream, a data packet format designed to transmit one data packet in four ATM data packets for streaming digital video and audio over fixed or mobile transmission mediums, where the beginning and the end of the stream may not be identified, such as radio frequency, cable and linear recording mediums, examples of which include ATSC/DVB/ISDB/SBTVD broadcasting, and HDV recording on tape.

Moving Picture Experts Group

MPEGMPEG VideoISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 11
For transport, ATSC uses the MPEG systems specification, known as an MPEG transport stream, to encapsulate data, subject to certain constraints. Many aspects of ATSC are patented, including elements of the MPEG video coding, the AC-3 audio coding, and the 8VSB modulation.
MPEG-2 (1995): Generic coding of moving pictures and associated audio information (ISO/IEC 13818). Transport, video and audio standards for broadcast-quality television. MPEG-2 standard was considerably broader in scope and of wider appeal – supporting interlacing and high definition. MPEG-2 is considered important because it has been chosen as the compression scheme for over-the-air digital television ATSC, DVB and ISDB, digital satellite TV services like Dish Network, digital cable television signals, SVCD and DVD Video. It is also used on Blu-ray Discs, but these normally use MPEG-4 Part 10 or SMPTE VC-1 for high-definition content.

Digital Video Broadcasting

DVBDigital Video BroadcastDVB Project
DVB (see below) allows both.
By comparison, the rival DigiCipher 2 based ATSC system will not have this issue until 2048 due in part to 32 bits being used.