In 1987, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chartered an advisory committee to recommend an advanced television system for the United States. From 1990 to 1992, the Advanced Television Test Center (ATTC) tested four all-digital systems, one analog High Definition Television (HDTV) system, and one enhancement NTSC system using broadcast and cable television environment simulators. The formation of the HDTV Grand Alliance in May of 1993 resulted from the withdrawal of the only analog HDTV system from the competition and a stalemate between the other four all-digital systems.
The HDTV Grand Alliance system is composed of the best components from previously competing digital systems demonstrated to the FCC. Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG-2) syntax is used with novel encoding techniques to deliver a set of video scanning formats for a variety of applications. This paper describes the important features and concepts embodied in the HDTV Grand Alliance system.