The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) is a standards organization that was created in 1982 as part of the Advanced Television Committee (ATV) to promote the establishment of technical standards for all aspects of advanced television systems. Based in Washington, D.C., ATSC has grown from 25 original organizational members to an international membership of over 200, including broadcasters, motion picture companies, telecommunications carriers, cable TV programmers, consumer electronics manufacturers, and computer hardware and software companies.
The ATSC developed standards for digital television ( DTV ) that specify technologies for the transport, format, compression, and transmission of DTV in the U.S. ATSC DTV Standards developed, or in development currently, include digital high definition television ( HDTV ), standard definition television ( SDTV ), datacasting (the transmission of separate information streams that might allow, for example, someone watching a baseball game to choose a different camera angle, or someone watching a cooking show to view and download particular recipes), multichannel surround-sound audio, conditional access (methods, such as encryption or electronic locking systems, used to restrict service access to authorized users), and interactive services. For SDTV and HDTV, ATSC chose MPEG-2 for video and Dolby Digital for audio.
ATSC standards are expected to revolutionize the television industry as defined by the National Television Standards Committee ( NTSC ) standards set in 1953. ATSC standards for DTV are being adopted internationally.