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XDS - eXtended Data System
By:Bruce Bahlmann
Preethi Ramkumar
A method used for broadcasting any ancillary data, metadata, with an analog television signal or any other NTSC video signal.

A method used for broadcasting any ancillary data or metadata with an analog television signal or any other National Television Systems Committee (NTSC) video signal. These metadata may include time, station call letters, programming information, etc. It is an American standard classified under Electronic Industries Alliance standard EIA-766. XDS is often referred as Extended Data Services.

Previously, the digital data for closed captioning was carried on Line 21, Field 1 of the Vertical Blanking Interval (VBI), with Field 2 left unassigned. FCC agreed, setting aside Field 2 for additional channels of captioning including XDS. The Standard EIA-608 was published on December 29, 1999 defining the Recommended Practice for Line 21 Data Service. The Standard EIA-766 defines the Content Advisory Descriptor for Transport of Content Advisory Information.

Based on the Standards, the manufacturers started using the Field 2 of VBI to broadcast the Meta Information about the Program, the Clock time for the TVs and VCRs. For example, an XDS data packet may set a VCRs clock and calendar, create an index of contents in the videocassette, or tell a VCR when it is time to tape a program. The Basic functionality of a closed-caption decoder is specified in the FCCs Rules Section 15.119. XDS is used by TV stations, TV networks and TV program syndication distributors in the USA for several purposes.

Some of the most common uses of XDS include:
1. Time data for automatically setting the clock of TVs & VCRs sold in the USA, 2. Program information which can be displayed on-screen, such as the name and remaining time of the program
3. V-chip content ratings data and also for carrying CGMS-A Copy Generation Management System - Analog data used by personal video recorders such as TiVo and ReplayTV for copy prevention, and sometimes to cripple any sort of recording whatsoever from cable TV or DVD.

XDS is also used by the American TV network ABC for their Network Alert System (NAS). NAS is a one-way communication system used by ABC to inform and alert their local affiliate stations across the USA of information regarding ABC's network programming such as program timings & changes, news special report information, etc., using a special decoder manufactured for ABC by EEG Enterprises, a manufacturer of related equipment for the TV broadcast industry such as closed captioning and general-purpose XDS encoders.

Other Related Definitions for XDS
"... adopted a new standard, EIA-744, "Transport of Content Advisory Information Using Extended Data Service (XDS), " which provides specific guidance on how rating information should be transmitted on line 21." [FCC Report and Order 98-36]

"... monitoring card extends the signal monitoring capabilities of Evertz's AVM product line by focusing on closed captioning and eXtended Data Services (XDS) data packets carried within the Vertical Blanking Interval (VBI). Compliant with the EIA Standard EIA/CEA-608-B, the 7760CCM can be used to.... [Evertz - Broadcast equipment designer, manufacturer and marketer]
"... XDS (Extended Data Services): Displays the name of the current program and its remaining time, if available." [Sony - taken from the User Manual of Sony Television Trinitron WEGA]

"Extended Data Service (XDS): Text and other ancillary data included with a broadcast or cable TV signal, such as time checks, content ratings (see V-chip), station identification, and more; requires an XDS-capable receiver to..." [Maxent Products of Regent USA Inc.]
Links Related to XDS

Media Access Group at WGBH
Closed Captioning Product of Evertz
Closed Caption Product of Link Electronics
Technical Resources for XDS

Sony Trinitron WEGA TVhas XDS Banner
Products and Solutions for XDS

Other XDS Related Products

More Information About XDS
Used and New XDS for Sale

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