ATSC is the digital HD TV standard used within the United States and Canada. It is 6 MHz wide so the RTL-SDR with its maximum bandwidth of about 2.8 MHz cannot decode this signal. However, higher end SDR’s such as the SDRplay, Airspy and HackRF have larger bandwidths that can easy cover 6 MHz.
One SDRplay owner was able to figure out a way to decode ATSC by using a decoder written in GNU Radio. With the process the author used we note that other wide band SDR’s such as the Airspy and HackRF should also be capable of achieving the same results.
The process the author used was to first record a RAW IQ WAV file in HDSDR in Windows, making sure that any DC spike correction is applied. The WAV file is then opened in a premade GNU Radio flow graph in Linux and processed into an MPEG file. The process is not real time. The authors article shows a step by step tutorial on how its done.
In an update post to his results the author also notes that to successfully do a recording at the maximum SDRplay bandwidth of 8 MHz a RAM disk or perhaps SSD is required so that samples are not dropped.