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Programming Metadata Communications Protocol (PMCP) Tutorial

We at EtherGuide Systems believe that the ATSC A/76 PMCP is the protocol to use to insure that MPEG-2 PSI and ATSC PSIP tables always accurately define the elementary streams and program services within a transport stream.


NOTE: EtherGuide Systems has developed and debugged the full PMCP (ATSC A/76) data interface for our broadcast metadata/PSIP generators.  During that process, a decision was made to leave this incomplete tutorial as is, without finishing or updating the content to reflect what we have learned of the PMCP interface.  Such information is shared with partners and customers.  In additon, EtherGuide Systems provides PMCP-specific information that is accessible on the customer-specific areas of this web site.  We apologize if this inconveniences competitors and those at Fortune-500 companies that seem to repeatedly visit this tutorial, but our focus is on customers. 

Consulting services are available from EtherGuide Systems if you or your company need assistance with a PMCP implementation or understanding how PMCP works in the broadcast metadata/systems environment, but you or your company is not desirous of an actual PMCP-powered PSIP generator.


.What suprised us was the dearth of resources on the Internet for people interested in learning the advantages and disadvantages of PMCP.  Rather than bemonaning this lack, we decided to fill the void with our own free tutorial on PMCP.  The "end" result of that decision is this tutorial.

As a practical matter, PMCP "code" is about as user-friendly as HTML, the language behind all web pages, including this one.  But, few people actually write HTML code; most web site design and development is done using computer applications that make web site designers and developers more productive, in no small part by shielding the user as much as is possible, from having to write HTML code.  We at EtherGuide Systems believe that rich suites of PMCP-oriented tools and applications will foster the widespread adoption of PMCP, not cheif engineers and IT technicians at TV stations writing their own PMCP applications. 

But, just as the widespread adoption of HTML enabled any Internet user anywhere to quickly acquire the information they are seeking, the widespread adoption of PMCP will enable broadcastes to dynamically redefine in real time, the characteristics of their transport stream and program elements using a protocol that is easily understood by any device that creates elements that are folded into or extracted from ATSC transport streams.


Have we yet mentioned on this page that all EtherGuide Systems products and systems for ATSC broadcasters, including but not limited to EtherGuide Emissary and EtherGuide Ferret, support PMCP interfaces for files and live data? If not, consider this to be that mention.


What the EtherGuide PMCP tutorial will do for you:

  • Provide you with an overview of PMCP and published PMCP schemas and which schema is best for your station;
  • Leave you with a basic understanding of XML data, XML schemas, XML documents, and how each is used to exchange data and validate the transfers..
  • Enable you to see what existing and future issues you can avoid in your transmission plant by insisting on PMCP interfaces on all purchases of transmission equipment
  • Explore how PMCP works with and complements the emerging SMPTE BXF protocol to put digital broadcasters once again in control of their transmissions and the accompanying digital broadcast metadata


What the EtherGuide PMCP tutorial won't do for you:

  • It won't decrease your displeasure with the use of proprietary interfaces to exhange information about ATSC transport streams;
  • It won't enable you to better understand MPEG-2 transport streams associated items  than you do already;
  • It won't enable you to write or read actual PMCP code;
  • It may increase your sexiness, at least amoung a subset of 'tv geeks', biut that is unlikely to improve your love life


To start the tutorial, click one of the "Start Tutorial" buttons near the top or bottom of this page.



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