PSIP Essential for LPTV Broadcasters

“Program and System Information Protocol”, or PSIP, is often misunderstood by stations and viewers alike.  Here is the latest information about this protocol.

Designed for ATSC 1.0 standard broadcasts, PSIP is a protocol that allows for the broadcast of program-specific schedule information.  This information is encoded in metadata that is broadcast alongside the video signal and received by over-the-air antennas at your viewers’ homes.  Much like an on-screen guide service offered by cable or satellite companies, PSIP enables a similar guide experience for viewers who receive and view your signals over the air.  For broadcasters that rely on over the air viewers as part of their business model, PSIP is essential.

For LPTV broadcasters specifically, PSIP is not currently required by the FCC.  However, this requirement will change sometime in 2021.  Though providing an optimal viewer experience means that PSIP should be a part of every broadcast now, LPTV broadcasters should nevertheless have a timeline in place to establish PSIP before the deadline.

To implement PSIP, LPTV broadcasters need to consider three essential elements:

  • PSIP data feed. This is the feed with your channel lineup and program description information.  It must be encoded to work with the PSIP hardware you select.
  • PSIP data editor. This is a software program that allows LPTV broadcasters to review, edit, and update program schedule information that is sent to viewers (and/or published to electronic program guides.).  Changes to program schedules made in systems like TitanTV’s MediaStar are automatically reflected in the PSIP data feed.
  • PSIP hardware. Offered by a variety of vendors, this hardware syncs the PSIP data feed with your video broadcast.

Adding PSIP into your broadcast stream before the FCC’s deadline will require research and planning to determine the right solution for your station’s needs.  But, once set up and tested, there is nothing more for your station to do with the PSIP data for any pass-through stations.

Our support team is happy to answer any questions you may have, and we will work with you to ensure the right PSIP solution for your station has been reached.  Once this has been determined and a contract is in place, we will then begin processing and sending PSIP data to you.

TitanTV has been a proud supporter of the LPTV industry for many years.  Please contact us to discuss the right PSIP solution for your station.

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