Digital makeover


The Advanced Television Systems Committee this week launches its effort to improve the current 8-VSB digital-modulation standard. To assuage critics, ATSC will study ways to improve reception indoors and in areas with tall buildings or rough terrain.

Heading that effort is Jerry Whitaker, owner of Technical Press, a publisher of engineering newsletters, and chairman of the advisory committee for the NAB's annual engineering conference. The formal announcement is expected Wednesday (Oct. 4). Also, the ATSC's ad hoc group on 8-VSB performance is expected to give the executive committee its take on the current standard's strengths and weaknesses. After that, the group will assess the performance of the alternative COFDM standard popular overseas and favored by a growing number of 8-VSB critics in the U.S.