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Dolby AC-3 Digital Audio Compression

All ATSC Audio employs, for purposes of transmitting digital audio,  the protocol published in ATSC A/52, the AC-3 (or Dolby AC-3) Audio Compression Standard. A/52 Annex A establishes the syntax and semantics of the AC-3 Audio Descriptor which is required to be present in any elementary stream descriptor loop for an AC-3 elementary stream and in the "current event" in an Event Information Table (EIT) section for a virtual channel that includes at least one AC-3 stream.

All EtherGuide Systems broadcast metadata generators, when provided with information on the presence of an AC-3 audio service, will dynamically construct and generate the proper form of the AC-3 audio descriptor in the current event in each Event Information Table (EIT-k0) and, if configured to do so, in the corresponding Program Map Table.

ATSC A/52 editions
CodeDateCommentEtherGuide Systems comment
A/52B20050614Current editionSecond edition version, which adds support for E-AC-3 and makes other minor edits.  This edition also changed the name of the descriptor to AC-3 audio descriptor (AC-3_audio_stream_descriptor syntactially).  This edition is incorporated by reference in FCC rules (47 CFR 73.8000)
A/52A20010820Corrections to original publicationCorrection
A/5219951220Original PublicationInitial version of the specification (see 20010820 entry)


See: ATSC Standards ATST standards may be downloaded (for free) from

Dolby, Dolby AC-3 are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories and are used with permission.

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