PSIP, Art Allison, NAB - February 2005

For the February 17 members meeting, the section arranged a technical education evening titled: PSIP Requirements and Implementation for Broadcasters-Just What Channel am I? The meeting was held at the Public Broadcasting Service headquarters in Alexandria, VA and was attended by about 35 members and guests.

Art Allison, Director of Advanced Engineering at NAB, started with a presentation on the tables that make up the ATSC Program and System Information Protocol Standard A/65, he outlined the advantages to broadcasters of including full and accurate PSIP information in their transmitted DTV signals. Art emphasized the need for broadcasters to meet the FCC rules on PSIP that came into effect on February 1, 2005. This was followed by a presentation from George Anderson, Sales Manager - Digital Services with Thales Broadcast & Multimedia. George discussed arrangements for practical implementations of PSIP by broadcasters, including transfer of necessary metadata from other equipment and systems in the broadcast plant into the PSIP generator using the new ATSC Programming Metadata Communications Protocol Standard A/76.

Graham Jones, Director of Communications Engineering with NAB, showed some off-air screen shots of the Washington DC area DTV stations. These included program guide and information displays produced by a DTV receiver using transmitted PSIP information. Art Allison provided comments on the completeness and accuracy of the PSIP tables from these stations as detected with a Triveni Digital StreamScope bitstream analyzer. The good news was that most of the DC-area stations have made an attempt to implement PSIP to meet FCC rules by including channel navigation and program information. The bad news was some of the stations still have areas of PSIP data that are missing or incorrect and there is still work to be done before PSIP is 100% correct for all DTV stations.

Many thanks are extended to PBS for their hospitality and to Thales for sponsoring the refreshments

-Graham Jones, Section Manager and Program Chair