Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is pushing A-VSB, the mobile-digital-TV technology it introduced earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show, for standardization through the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC).
A-VSB (advanced vestigial sideband) is the only mobile-DTV technology that has been formally proposed for ATSC standardization, said Mark Richter, president of the digital-TV standards organization.
The Samsung spec is an enhancement to ATSC's VSB digital television standard. Mobile devices equipped with an A-VSB tuner could receive mobile-TV signals, but the technology does not interfere with standard digital-TV reception, according to Samsung.
ATSC's Richter said the committee has yet to be given a detailed technical specification, or draft standard, for A-VSB but expects to have it within months. Assuming committee members approve, the next logical step would be to move on to standardization, Richter said. "Everyone has different estimates for when that might happen," he said, adding he does not expect much action before the third quarter of this year at the earliest.
John Godfrey, vice president of government and public affairs at a U.S. subsidiary of Samsung, said the company's goal is to have the standard approved during the first half of this year, with products available as early as 2008. "That may be aggressive," Godfrey said. "But that's our goal."
Samsung's CES demo was primarily promotional, Godfrey said. The true field test of A-VSB, to be conducted by an ATSC subcommittee, is still to come, he said, adding he did not yet know when field testing would occur.
A-VSB underwent lab testing by the ATSC subcommittee in November 2006 in Ottawa, according to Godfrey. The committee has not released the results, he said, adding that he does not believe the organization ever makes such results public. "The process is on track," he said.
So far, only Samsung and DTV transmitter maker Rohde & Schwarz of Germany appear to be pushing A-VSB. Some chip vendors that play in the mobile-TV space said they plan to wait and see how the market develops.
Godfrey said local broadcasters would have to spend "tens of thousands of dollars"adding remultiplexers to deploy A-VSB. They would not have to add towers or purchase new spectrum, he said.