Archived — Notice SMBR-004-97

Department of Industry

Radiocommunication Act

Notice No. SMBR-004-97

Adoption of Standard for Digital Television (DTV) Broadcasting in Canada

See also News Release of November 25, 1997

Industry Canada announces the adoption of the modified "A/53" DTV Standard to replace the current NTSC standard used for analog terrestrial VHF and UHF television broadcasting in Canada. This modified standard was adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States, and Industry Canada proposed its adoption in gazette notice SMBR-002-97 – Adoption of Standard for Digital Television (DTV) Broadcasting in Canada on June 21, 1997. All comments received in response to this notice supported the adoption of the standard. It has also been recommended by the Task Force on the Implementation of Digital Television in Canada.

The Digital Television Standard describes a system designed to transmit high quality video and audio and ancillary data over a 6 MHz channel that can reliably provide about 19 Mbps of throughput using 8VSB RF modulation. The Digital Television Standard is based on the ISO/IEC MPEG-2 Video Standard, the Digital Audio Compression (Dolby AC-3) Standard, and the ISO/IEC MPEG-2 Systems Standard. The standard provides for the transmission of one High Definition Television program or several (four, five or more) Standard Definition Television programs; many CD-quality audio signals; and large amounts of data. It does not include requirements with respect to scanning formats, aspect ratios or lines of resolution.

It is expected that this standard will meet the needs of the Canadian broadcasting system for a flexible and high-quality digital television service. By adopting the same standard for terrestrial digital television transmission as the United States and Mexico, Canada will benefit from North-American compatibility in program transmission and production and of the availability of common consumer digital television receivers.

The DTV Standard is described in ATSC Doc. A/53 ("ATSC Digital Television Standard, 16 September 95"). As adopted by the FCC and Canada, the standard is modified by not including Section 5.1.2 ("Compression format constraints") or Table 3, "Compression Format Constraints," as contained in Annex A ("Video Systems Characteristics") or the references to that Table. The standard also incorporates ATSC Doc. A/52 ("ATSC Digital Audio Compression Standard (AC-3), 20 Dec. 95") in its entirety.

Further information may be obtained from:

George Zurakowski
Manager Broadcast Standards
Regulations and Procedures
Spectrum Engineering Branch
Department of Industry
300 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C8
or at the Internet address

Dated at Ottawa this 8th day of November 1997.

R. W. McCaughern

A/Director General

Spectrum Engineering Branch

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