The Advanced Television Systems Committee will create a new organization by January that will handle the promotion of digital television and the ATSC standard and allow the parent group to focus on technical standards, according to ATSC Executive Director Mark Richer.
The working title for the spin off is ATSC Forum, and it will be headed by current ATSC Chairman Robert Graves. Richer says a new chairman for the ATSC is expected to be elected by the ATSC members by the beginning of next year. Richer will become president of the ATSC.
"It allows ATSC to focus on its core activity and it allows those that want to do promotion of the standard to focus on that," explains Richer. "It removes any potential impediments and I think it's just a matter of focus."
Richer says that in the current organization Graves has headed up promotional efforts while he has been in charge of organizational and technical practices. "It's a natural way to divide up things," he adds. It also removes any appearance of conflict.
"There isn't a conflict between the two, but sometimes there's an appearance of that, so we're avoiding that by spinning off the forum activities, he adds.
Graves will remain chairman until the end of the year. ATSC was formed in 1992 and created the ATSC digital television standard (A/53). It currently has more than 200 members.
- Ken Kerschbaumer