Andy Setos Wins Emmy for Lifetime Achievement in Engineering

LOS ANGELES: Andy Setos is receiving a lifetime achievement Emmy Award. Setos, head of engineering with the Fox Group until he parted ways with the company in July, is receiving the Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award from the he Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The Jenkins award is a special engineering honor recognizing “an individual whose contributions over a long period of time have significantly affected the state of television technology and engineering.” It’s namesake was credited with the creation of mechanical television, and his business was granted the first commercial TV license in 1928.

Mr. Setos worked with Fox for 23 years, guiding the company through the digital transition, the adoption of HD technology, content and standards issues and the regulatory landscape. He became Fox’s first senior vice president of broadcasting operations and engineering in 1988. While there, he managed the company’s worldwide engineering operations, developed digital content protection technology and pioneered transmission of national news and sports coverage using fiber-optic transmission.

Previous Jenkins Award winners include Robert Seidenglanz for his role in developing ENG trucks; Ron Estes for taking mono broadcast audio to stereo and then to 5.1. LG’s Dr. Woo Paik received the Jenkins in 2008 for inventing the algorithm that made broadcast HDTV possible. Ray Dolby won in 2003 for his seminal audio work. Charles “Capp” Cappleman took it in 2002 for creating CBS Television City.

Setos graduated with a bachelor’s from Columbia University of Engineering and Applied Science in 1971. He started in the TV business at WNET-TV in New York. He moved on to Warner Amex, and later to Viacom as senior vice president of engineering. At Viacom, he established the production infrastructure and designed the engineering systems for MTV. He also designed the facilities for the Fox network, Fox News, NFL on Fox and Fox Animation Studios.

Setos foresaw the migration to mobile video back in 2005, when he told Rick Merritt of EE Times, “I have a firm belief that this is a new medium: portable audiovisual.”

He is a Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and a member of the FCC Technology Advisory Committee. He elected to not renew his contract with Fox this summer.

He’ll receive the Jenkins Award Wednesday, Oct. 26 at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Engineering Awards in Hollywood.

Other winners include Time Warner and Time Warner Cable for the Full Service Network; IBM and Fox for the Linear Tape File system; Panavision and Sony for single-chip digital camera technology advances; Ultimate Arm for the gyrostabilized remote controlled crane; Apple, for the iPad; Yahoo! For Connected TV to Yahoo!; Comcast for the Xfinity TV iPad app, and Time Warner Cable for the Time Warner TV iPad app.
~ Deborah D. McAdams