The digital TV broadcast standard we currently use, ATSC 1.0, was written in 1993 – nearly 20 years ago. The original standard calls for the use of the MPEG-2 video compression codec. As such, 100% of all TVs and other equipment capable of receiving ATSC 1.0 are capable of decoding MPEG-2 video.
Implementation and compatibility
Some broadcasters are beginning to broadcast subchannels encoded in MPEG-4, as a way to make more efficient use of their allotted bandwidth. On many newer TVs, these subchannels will decode just fine and the TV will most likely give no indication whether the picture being decoded is MPEG-2 or 4. On older sets, however, these subchannels may appear as “Audio Only” or, potentially, some other message.
MPEG-4 subchannels (by market):
23.10 Comet (simulcast in MPEG-2 on 23.2)
In some markets, there are actually some subchannels that broadcast in an audio-only format. We have compiled a list on our Audio-only Subchannels page.
For more information, contact us today or call: (952) 491-0643, (715) 802-6275.