The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ASTC) approved the A/153 ATSC Mobile DTV Standard on October 15, 2009. This technology offers local broadcasters significant opportunities to provide consumers with new services in their over-the-air digital channel. The ATSC Mobile DTV standard is the result of an intense development effort involving participants from all over the world and across television and mobile device industries. The ATSC Mobile DTV system achieves the robustness necessary for mobile reception by adding extra training sequences and forward error correction. The Mobile DTV system converts the current 8-VSB emission into a dual-stream system without altering the emitted spectral characteristics. It does this by selecting some of the MPEG-2 segments (corresponding to MPEG-2 Transport packets in the current system) and allocating the payloads in those segments to carry the Mobile DTV data in a manner that existing legacy receivers ignore. Click here to read more about the ATSC Mobile DTV standard. Click here to view the full standard.
The standards-development process to enable broadcasters to deliver television content and data to mobile and handheld devices using the DTV broadcast signal began in April, 2007. A number of committees were formed to work in three primary elements: a physical layer encompassing backward-compatible additions to the DTV emissions stream to facilitate mobile and handheld reception; a management layer including signaling, announcement, file delivery and other functions such as conditional access and content protection; and a presentation layer, which focused on the video and audio formats and compression systems.
A significant milestone for ATSC Mobile DTV process was an Independent Demonstration of Viability (IDOV) field test conducted in San Francisco, CA in the first quarter of 2008 and supervised by the OMVC. The OMVC also established R&D markets (model stations) in Atlanta and Seattle to provide support for device development by providing manufacturers with the ability to test prototypes of mobile receivers under actual transmission conditions.
In addition, the OMVC is conducting physical layer testing with the ATSC in a number of cities nationwide, and in August of 2009 it successfully conducted conformance testing to the standard with 14 vendors. The OMVC is also working closely with the CEA SIG on Mobile DTV (Consumer Electronics Association Special Interest Group) on interoperability testing and device testing.
A Working Draft standard was written by specialist group (S4) with help from its subgroups. Technology and Standards Group (TSG) developed a consensus recommendation to move the draft to a Candidate Standard for a period of time. During this time the industry began to test the standard (i.e., began product development). TSG members voted to advance to the Candidate Standard on November 25th, 2008. After the Candidate Standard period, TSG voted to elevate the Candidate Standard to a Proposed Standard in July 2009. The Proposed Standard was then balloted to the full membership of the ATSC via a letter ballot on October 15, 2009. See the ATSC website for more information www.atsc.org