ATSC 1.0 was approved by the FCC in 1996 and the last revision was in 2009. ATSC 1.0 defined MPeg2/AC3 as the codec and 8-VSB as the modulation scheme. Data rate produced was 19.4 Mbps and 19 formats were approved as summarized here.. http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ISSUES/what_is_ATSC.html
Although 19 formats are possible with ATSC 1.0 tuners in theory, only three are being widely used 704x480 60i, 1280x720 60p and 1920x1080 60i. This will remain the case for the primary channel for backward compatibility.
The FCC has promised to start a review of digital broadcasting in 2012. Among the issues will be possible new formats and services for the sub-channels and a specification for an ATSC 2.0 tuner. Meanwhile the ATSC has been at work developing several new services some of which are being tested on air.
1. A/72 Advanced Video Encoding (h.264) - Although MPeg2 will remain for the primary channel in the USA, broadcasters will have the option to use h.264 for the sub-channels. This will allow multiple HD subchannels since h.264 uses about half the bit rate of MPeg2. 3D is possible. Disadvantage is users will need new ATSC 2.0 tuners to receive the h.264 sub-channels.
2. ACAP (interactive games and services) - already implemented in Korea.
3. ATSC M/H - Live low resolution broadcasting to hand held devices. Being implemented separate from ATSC 2.0. Eventually will be available on phone handsets or tablets.
4. ATSC NRT (non-real time) - TV programs and games are downloaded to a DVR based ATSC 2.0 tuner for viewing at user discretion. 3D is optional. To me this is revolutionary and might threaten cable/sat services.
5. ATSC h.264 1920x1080@60p
6. ATSC 3D standardization
7. Increase 8-VSB bit-rate over 19.4 Mbps while maintaining ATSC 1.0 compatibility.
8. Smart antenna technology. The tuner controls and optimizes the antenna.
9. ATSC 2.0 tuner specification integrating the above services with backward compatibility.
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Last edited by edDV; 22nd Oct 2011 at 10:18.Recommends: Kiva.org - Loans that change lives.