ATSC standards

Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) standards are an American set of standards for digital television transmission over terrestrial, cable and satellite networks. It is largely a replacement for the analog NTSC standard and, like that standard, is used mostly in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and South Korea. Several former NTSC users, such as Japan, have not used ATSC during their digital television transition, because they adopted other systems such as ISDB developed by Japan, and DVB developed in Europe, for example.

ATSC standards logo

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. The standard is now administered by the Advanced Television Systems Committee. It includes a number of patented elements, and licensing is required for devices that use these parts of the standard. Key among these is the 8VSB modulation system used for over-the-air broadcasts. ATSC[clarification needed] technology was primarily developed with patent contributions from LG Electronics, which holds most of the patents for the ATSC standard.[1]

ATSC includes two primary high definition video formats, 1080i and 720p. It also includes standard-definition formats, although initially only HDTV services were launched in the digital format. ATSC can carry multiple channels of information on a single stream, and it is common for there to be a single high-definition signal and several standard-definition signals carried on a single 6 MHz (former NTSC) channel allocation.


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