NTIA Coupon-Eligible Converter Box (CECB)
ATSC A/74, Receiver Performance Guidelines, June 2004
ATSC A/53E, ATSC Digital Television Standard, Revision E with Amendments No. 1 and No. 2, September 2006
ATSC A/65C, Program and System Information Protocol for Terrestrial Broadcast and Cable (Revision C) With Amendment No. 1, May 2006
Recommendation ITU-R BT.500-11, Methodology for the subjective assessment of the quality of television pictures
ATSC A/69, PSIP Implementation Guidelines for Broadcasters, June 2002
ELIGIBLE CONVERTER BOXES SHALL COMPLY WITH THE FOLLOWING MINIMUM PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES:
Equipment shall be capable of receiving and presenting for display program material that has been encoded in any and all of the video formats contained in Table A3 of ATSC A/53E. The image presented for display need not preserve the original spatial resolution or frame rate of the transmitted video format.
2. Output Formats
Equipment shall support 4:3 center cut-out of 16:9 transmitted image, letterbox output of 16:9 letterbox transmitted image, and a full or partially zoomed output of unknown transmitted image.
3. PSIP Processing
Equipment shall process and display ATSC A/65C Program and System Information Protocol (PSIP) data to provide the user with tuned channel and program information. See ATSC A/69 for further guidance.
4. Tuning Range
Equipment shall be capable of receiving RF channels 2 through 69 inclusive.
5. RF Input
Equipment shall include a female 75 ohm F Type connector for VHF/UHF antenna input.
6. RF Output
Equipment shall include a female 75 ohm F Type connector with user-selectable channel 3 or 4 NTSC RF output.
7. Composite Output
Equipment shall include female RCA connectors for stereo left and right audio (white and red) and a female RCA connector for composite video (yellow). Output shall produce video with ITU-R BT.500-11 quality scale of Grade 4 or higher.
8. RF Dynamic Range (Sensitivity)
Equipment shall achieve a bit error rate (BER) in the transport stream of no worse than 3x10-6 for input RF signal levels directly to the tuner from -83 dBm to -5 dBm over the tuning range. Subjective video/audio assessment methodologies could be used to comply with the bit error rate requirement. [ 1 ]
Test conditions are for a single RF channel input with no noise or channel impairment. Refer to ATSC A/74 Section 4.1 for further guidance. (Note the upper limit specified here is different than that in A/74 4.1).
9. Phase Noise
Equipment shall achieve a bit error rate in the transport stream of no worse than 3x10-6 for a single channel RF input signal with phase noise of -80 dBc/Hz at 20 kHz offset. The input signal level shall be -28 dBm. Subjective video/audio assessment methodologies described above could be used to comply with the bit error rate requirement. Refer to ATSC A/74 Section 4.3 for further guidance.
10. Co-Channel Rejection
The receiver shall not exceed the thresholds indicated in Table 1 for rejection of co-channel interference at the given desired signal levels. Refer to ATSC A/74 Section 4.4.1 for further guidance.
Table 1- Co-Channel Rejection Thresholds
11. First Adjacent Channel Rejection
The receiver shall not exceed the thresholds indicated in Table 2 for rejection of adjacent channel interference at the given desired signal levels. Refer to ATSC A/74 Section 4.4.2 for further guidance.
Table 2- Adjacent Channel Rejection Thresholds
12. Taboo Channel Rejection
The receiver shall not exceed the thresholds indicated in Table 3 for rejection of taboo channel
interference at the given DTV desired and undesired signal levels. Refer to ATSC A/74 Section 4.4.3 for further guidance.
Table 3- Taboo Channel Rejection Thresholds for DTV Interference into DTV
13. Burst Noise
Equipment shall tolerate a noise burst of at least 165 μs duration at a 10 Hz repetition rate without visible errors. The noise burst shall be generated by gating a white noise source with average power -5 dB, measured in the 6 MHZ channel under test, referenced to the average power of the DTV signal. The input DTV signal level shall be -28 dBm. Refer to ATSC A/74 Section 4.4.4 for further guidance
14. Field Ensembles
Equipment shall demonstrate that it can successfully demodulate, with two or fewer errors, 30 of the 50 field ensembles available from ATSC in conjunction with ATSC A/74. Error counts are not expected to include inherent errors associated with the start and end or looping of field ensembles for playback.
Refer to ATSC A/74 Section 4.5.2 for further guidance.
15. Single Static Echo
Equipment shall comply with either CRITERIA A or CRITERIA B, below.
Equipment shall tolerate a single static echo with the magnitude, relative to a desired DTV signal power of -28 dBm, and delay defined in Table 4.
Equipment may demonstrate compliance by tolerating a single static echo with the magnitude, relative to a desired DTV signal power of -28 dBm, and delay defined in Table 5, if the equipment also demonstrates that it can receive 37 of the 50 field ensembles. See Field Ensembles requirement.
CRITERIA A: CRITERIA B:
Single Static Echo Delay Table
5- Minimum Single Static Echo Delay
16. Channel Display
Equipment must display all channels, including multicast channels, broadcast by a digital television station that can be displayed on an analog TV receiver.
17. Closed Captioning, Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Parental Controls (V-Chip)
Equipment must display (1) EAS message broadcast pursuant to 47 C.F.R. §11.117 of the FCC Rules; (2) parental control information as required by the FCC Rules in 47 C.F.R. §15.120 and incorporate the EIA/CEA-766-A standard; and (3) Close Captioning information as required by the FCC Rules in 47 C.F.R. §15.122 and incorporate the CEA 708/608 standard.
18. Remote Control
A remote control to operate the equipment shall be provided with batteries. Standard codes will be used and provided so the consumer can program an existing remote control to, at a minimum, change channels and turn on and off the converter box and the consumer’s existing analog television receiver.
19. Audio Outputs
The RF output must be modulated with associated audio program information; the RCA audio connectors must provide stereo left/right, when broadcast.
20. Energy Standards
The equipment shall use no more than two watts of electricity in the “Sleep” state. Sleep state power shall be measured in accordance with industry standard CEA-2013-A. Eligible equipment shall provide the capability to automatically switch from the On state to the Sleep state after a period of time without user input. This capability shall be enabled at the factory as the default setting for the device. The default period of inactivity before the equipment automatically switches to the Sleep state shall be four hours. Eligible equipment may allow the current program to complete before switching to the Sleep state. The default energy related settings shall not be altered during the initial user set-up process and shall persist unless the user chooses at a later date to manually: (a) disable the “automatic switching to Sleep state” capability, or (b) adjust the default time period from 4 hours to some other value.
21. Owner’s Manual
An owner’s manual shall be include information regarding the remote control codes used to permit the consumer to program a universal remote control. The owner’s manual will include information regarding the availability of the main audio channel and other associated audio channels on the RF and left/right audio outputs.
22. LED Indicator
The equipment shall contain an LED to indicate when the unit is turned on.
23. RF Cable
The equipment will include at least one RF cable to connect the unit with its associated analog television receiver.
24. Signal Quality Indicator
The equipment will display on the television receiver signal quality indications such as signal strength per ATSC A/74, Section 4.7.
NTIA Coupon-Eligible Converter Box (CECB)
Permitted and Disqualifying Features
Dated: March 9, 2007
John M. R. Kneuer
Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information
[ 1 ] Subjective evaluation methodologies use the human visual and auditory systems as the primary measuring “instrument.” These methods may incorporate viewing active video and audio segments to evaluate the performance as perceived by a human observer. For subjective measurement, the use of an expert viewer is recommended. The viewer shall observe the video and listen to the audio for at least 20 seconds in order to determine Threshold of Visibility (TOV) and Threshold of Audibility (TOA). Subjective evaluation of TOV should correspond with achievement of transport stream error rate not greater than a BER of 3x10 -6. If there is disagreement over TOV performance evaluation, it will be resolved with a measurement of actual BER.