The US standards organization ATSC wants to make sure that the broadcasting industry is an integral part of the global communications ecosystem, integrating numerous wireless transmission protocols. Writes about this publication TVTechnology .
The broadcasting standards adopted in the world today combine traditional terrestrial television with broadcasts using the Internet protocol. And ATSC is working to ensure that ATSC 3.0 and other digital terrestrial television (DTT) standards become part of the global wireless communications ecosystem, which already includes cellular standards such as LTE/5G, as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
The United States-based standards committee has released a white paper outlining its campaign to remind decision makers of the value, ubiquity and reliability of modern broadcast standards such as ATSC 3.0 and DVB, which is the dominant digital television broadcast standard in Europe.
“This document is a clear public statement from ATSC, essentially expressing a strong desire to work closely with other organizations developing digital terrestrial television standards in an attempt to determine how these technologies can be combined and work to form a unified voice on the world stage for broadcast needs,” said ATSC President Madeleine Noland.
“Codification of possible changes”
Since there never existed a global standard for digital terrestrial television, DVB , ATSC and other standards have in the past been viewed as competitors on their way to conquering the global market. However, today such competition no longer exists, since many perceive television broadcasting as a wireless technology of yesterday, miraculously preserved in a world where streaming technologies over IP protocol already dominate in cellular networks. But now that the IP protocol has become part of the world’s broadcast standards, the new data channel available through broadcast media brings with it a whole new set of possibilities.
It is important for broadcasters to continue to remind international standards bodies of the relevance of television broadcasting, which is more efficient than IP, as it operates on a many-to-one basis rather than the unicast-to-each-other principle of the IP model. This is especially true in an environment where the frequency resource currently used by broadcasters is coveted by wireless service providers.
“Broadcasters around the world are now facing the challenge of new media, but we are also on the cusp of new opportunities hinting at the creation of technologies to deliver IP data over the broadcast network,” said Noland. – Broadcasters around the world can collaborate to develop some of the possible technologies that will benefit everyone. This document codifies the changes that have already taken place in what appeared to be a very competitive landscape in the past.”
While recognizing the value of broadcasters’ traditional links with local communities, there should also be recognition of the technical advantages inherent in broadcasting technologies, which have proven time and time again during weather emergencies.
“Broadcasters use a single infrastructure model that is largely based on the use of high power transmission towers (HPHT) systems,” the ATSC document says. “This infrastructure is often one of the most resilient, capable of withstanding natural disasters, ensuring the reliability of information transmission when it is most needed.”
ATSC plans to initiate a discussion of its proposals with the participants of the World Radiocommunication Conference, which will be held in November 2023. ATSC notes that the work aimed at unifying the world’s broadcasting standards has been going on for more than a decade.
“Efforts to create a next-generation broadcast standard that brings together all the leading standards development organizations (SDOs) have been going on for more than 10 years since the Future of Traditional Television (FOBTV) summit held in November 2011 in Shanghai,” the associations. “The original goal of FOBTV to promote the work on creating the best of the best next generation television systems has not been realized as of today, but since its inception, the working group has served as a forum for communication and research on new technologies and current developments within various SDOs” .
One of the key factors needed to merge over-the-air broadcasting technologies with other wireless communication formats will be the development of a “basic broadcast network” (BCN) that is independent of the DTT system. This is the concept that ATSC is working on.
The “Basic Broadcast Network” is being developed for the needs of autonomous operation exclusively for broadcasting traditional television and / or for converged operation with other data delivery networks, for example, 802.11, 5G, LTE, 3G, SMPTE 2110, CBRS, satellite (LEO-MEO-GEO) , LoRA, IoT, etc.,” ATSC noted.
“BCN will be adapted to work in cases where the uplink is always available, never available or available from time to time. The purpose of BCN is to allow broadcasters to offer regional data delivery services, such as game console software updates, drive-by-car call updates, and more. Among these use cases is redundant or enhanced GPS signaling (eGPS).”
With this convergence of worldwide broadcast standards to 3GPP (aka “3rd Generation Partnership Project” – a generic term for a number of standards organizations that develop protocols for the mobile industry), a scenario may become a reality in which cellular and broadcast protocols can work together, enabling consumers to enjoy the most reliable and stable wireless reception.
However, broadcasters need to unite around a common goal, making DTT an integral part of the global telecommunications ecosystem to begin with, the organization warns.
“DTT broadcasters operate in a global ecosystem of data delivery networks,” ATSC said. – Data session management, switching and sharing in heterogeneous networks can improve frequency resource efficiency by using the most appropriate network for each data session in a dynamic manner. In essence, 3GPP sees 5G as an ecosystem of heterogeneous global data networks. Next-generation DTT systems are the world’s most efficient physical layers for one-to-many data delivery for television and non-television, as well as fixed and mobile communications.
“This state-of-the-art technology development can be used to converge with other data delivery networks such as the Internet and LTE/5G, however, fragmentation creates a fundamental barrier to incorporating DTT into this heterogeneous ecosystem,” the ATSC continues to argue. “In terms of more than just survival, the more exciting potential for this segment is the integration of next-generation digital transmission technologies into the overall drive towards convergence. Convergence between core DTT technologies would facilitate convergence with other networks (and may be a prerequisite for long-term success).”
According to ATSC Chairman Richard Friedel, 3GPP has asked broadcasters to come up with a plan for this convergence. “It was an initiative on their part,” he said. “It means that they are interested enough to try to do something.”
Friedel added that with concerns about the efficiency and sustainability of the frequency resource, the power of broadcast technology is more evident than ever. “Data transmission technologies over television networks provide the lowest cost of delivering one bit of information to consumers,” he said.