ATSC Converter Box Software


CBpak is a legacy product. ATSC coupon converter boxes are no longer being produced. However, the ATSC product described here is still very relevant. The same ATSC receiver described here can be used to develop hybrid ATSC products such as HDMI sticks, OTT+ATSC devices, ATSC DVR, etc.


The US Government mandated that all analog terrestrial TV broadcasts will cease on February 17, 2009. After this date all broadcasters were required to switch from NTSC to ATSC transmission. Existing analog TV sets require a converter box with an ATSC tuner that can convert digital over-the-air signals to analog; the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued “Rules to Implement and Administer a Coupon Program for Digital-to-Analog Converter Boxes” per 47 CFR Part 301. These converter boxes were eligible for a $40 US Government subsidy. The converter boxes were known as ATSC Converter Boxes or NTIA Coupon Eligible Converter Boxes (CECB).


CBpak provides complete ATSC converter box software which complies with all the software requirements of 47 CFR Part 301. Using BitRouter’s, patented, XML State Machine (XSM) technology, CBpak defines the complete user interface for an ATSC converter box in around 2,000 lines of XML. That is all it takes to customize the look and feel of an ATSC converter box. CBpak includes all required protocols, customizable user interface, font engine and fonts. BitRouter also provides a graphical environment for editing and simulating the user interface. The complete CBpak environment looks as follows:



BitRouter’s implementation of the ATSC T3S8 A/65B PSIP (Program and System Information Protocol for Terrestrial Broadcast and Cable, Rev. B) and ANSI/SCTE 65 2002 (formerly DVS 234, Service Information Delivered Out-of-Band for Digital Cable Television) protocols. It includes support for the optional ATSC Directed Channel Change table and full support for processing of SCTE 18 2002 (formerly DVS 208, Emergency Alert Message for Cable, approved as a joint standard with CEA as ANSI-J-STD-042-2002). Over fifty API calls are provided to support frequency scan, channel navigation, retrieval of EPG information and retrieval of private data. PSIPstack supports both analog and digital tuners and stores both analog and digital channels in its channel map. More details on PSIPstack can be found here.


CAPstack implements the digital TV closed captioning standard specified by EIA-708 and CEA-608 as mandated by the FCC order number “FCC 00-259.” It is a complete implementation of the standard. The implementation provides a font engine interface to allow any commercial font engine to be used. An API is provided to allow applications to change font and display settings as per the FCC mandate. More details on CAPstack can be found here.


The ATSC Converter Box GUI is based on BitRouter’s, patent pending, XML State Machine (XSM) technology. Using XSM, pre-defined state machines implement the core logic and menu tree for the product. This core can be skinned using XML and bitmaps. One complete skin is included with TVgui and additional skins are available. TVgui skins can be modified by editing the XML source code. More details on TVgui can be found here.

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