Archived — Notice SMBR-003-97

Industry Canada

Radiocommunication Act

Notice No. SMBR-003-97

Ancillary Data within the Video Portion of NTSC/M Television Transmissions

Industry Canada announces the publication of Broadcast Transmission Standard No. 3 (BTS-3), Issue 2 [March 97] and the amendments to Section B-4 of Broadcasting Procedures and Rules, Part 4 (BPR-4), to allow insertion of digital data within the video portion of NTSC/M television transmissions. The holder of the broadcasting certificate may now insert digital data within the video portion of television transmissions using Digideck Inc. or Wavephore Inc. sub-video methods and Yes! Entertainment Corp., A.C. Nielsen Co. or Microsoft Corp. overscan methods by simple notification to Industry Canada. For ancillary services that are deemed to be broadcasting or program-related, potential users are reminded of the policy of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regarding these services (Public Notice 1989-23). Ancillary services that are neither broadcasting nor program-related may require a specific radio authorisation. The Department is currently reviewing the matter to determine what requirements should apply for the provision of these services.

The holder of the broadcasting certificate may only use a data insertion method that has been approved in advance by Industry Canada.


On October 28, 1996, Industry Canada published a gazette notice entitled Digital Data Transmissions within the Video Portion of the NTSC/M System (SMBR-003-96) to announce its intention to accept two sub-video (Digideck, Inc. and Wavephore, Inc.) and two overscan (Yes! Entertainment Corp. and A.C. Nielsen Co.) methods of ancillary digital data insertion within the video portion of NTSC/M television transmissions. Also, it proposed to amend the Broadcasting Procedures and Rules (BPR), Part IV andBroadcast Transmission Standards (BTS) No. 3 to allow licensees of television undertakings to insert digital data using the methods above. Furthermore, the notice proposed administrative guidelines regarding the use of these ancillary services.

Comments received in response to Notice SMBR-003-96 were supportive of the proposal to allow greater use of broadcast facilities for the transmission of ancillary services. They also suggested that the proposal to permit the four ancillary data transmission methods was warranted, timely and encouraged early implementation.

Following the publication of SMBR-003-96, Industry Canada decided to approve a horizontal overscan ancillary system designed by Microsoft Corporation. The Microsoft system is similar to the overscan system used by Yes! Entertainment Corporation (Yes!).

Related Items

Broadcast Transmission Standard no. 3, Issue 2 is further amended to incorporate Ghost Cancelling Reference (GCR) signal as well as Electronic Industries Association standard 608 EIA-608]. EIA-608 specifies the standards for data services on Vertical Blanking Interval (VBI) line 21.

Further Information

Copies of the BTS no. 3 and the amended BPR-4 can be obtained from the:

Publishing Services Centre
300 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C8
telephone: 613-990-4761

or from the Department's regional offices in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Moncton. Both documents are also available electronically on the Internet at the following WWW address:

Dated at Ottawa this 3rd day of June 1997.

R.W. McCaughern

Interim Director General
Spectrum Engineering Branch

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