ATSC to develop DTV-receiver guidelines


Broadcasters and digital-TV-equipment makers are putting aside their fight over the
need for government performance requirements for digital receivers to help the
Advanced Television Systems Committee develop industry guidelines.

The ATSC announced Monday that it aims to issue draft guidelines in the first of quarter

The guidelines will spell out recommended performance levels for adjacent
channel interference, multipath signals, receiver sensitivity and other areas.

"The challenge is to seek the right balance," ATSC president Mark Richer said. "Whenever you look at performance, you have to seek a balance because
a certain level of performance in one area can have a detrimental affect in

Lynn Claudy, technology chief for the National Association of Broadcasters,
said TV stations hope the ATSC’s effort will allow them to put aside their
demand for Federal Communications Commission receiver standards.

"We’re guardedly optimistic," he said. "If successful, this will fulfill
everyone’s needs."

The NAB has asked the FCC to review receiver-performance requirements to ensure that reception problems won’t damp
consumer enthusiasm for buying digital-TV sets.

Equipment makers said privately that negotiated guidelines will give flexibility
necessary for developing new products.

"We’ve always said receiver standards should be set by the marketplace, not
government fiat," Consumer Electronics Association spokesman Jeff Joseph said.

The FCC has launched an inquiry into the need for receiver standards.
Comments on the inquiry are due July 21, and replies Aug. 18.