08.31.2007 12:00 AM
Television Innovator and Production Company Co-Founder, Robert Hall, Dies at 70
Robert H. Hall, a Philadelphia area television engineer and the co-founder of a television production company in that city, died at his home in Exton, Pa. on August 16. He was 70.
Hall began his broadcasting career with WGBH in Boston and joined Philadelphia’s public television station, WHYY in 1965, two years after it went on the air. While at WHYY, Hall developed technology for allowing public TV stations to exchange programs. He was known for his work in producing documentaries and the recording of musical events. WHYY won an Emmy award for one of these, which featured a tour of Japan by the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Hall also worked with RCA in improving color television reception, with some of the technology he developed used in the motion picture “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” He was in the group nominated for a motion picture Academy Award for the film’s special effects in 1977.
In 1979, Hall supervised the relocation of WHYY-TV from West Philadelphia to a new home on Independence Mall. He left the station that year to co-found, with Gene Mason, a multimedia production studio in Philadelphia, Modern Video Productions. The two later founded a subsidiary operation, High Speed Video, in Malvern, Pa. He retired when the business was sold in 1988.
Hall was a native of Stoughton, Mass. and attended Tuffs University before beginning his career in television. His survivors include former wives, Judith Hall and Barbara Hall, as well as a son and two daughters.