NAB sent me some spam today saying that the ATSC group has adopted AVC (H.264) as a format for future DTV broadcasts. Currently, ATSC DTV transmissions use the MPEG-2 format.
The primary target is those markets that don’t currently have any DTV transmission technology in place yet. Implementing AVC in the US domestic market would be a bit of a challenge, give the number of MPEG-2 decoding tuners already in place, or on their way to market. Essentially, we’d need another round of “we’re going to break all your TVs on this date” in order for AVC support to happen at this point, and it’s probably not worth the trouble.