ATSC Honors Mark Aitken with Bernard Lechner Outstanding Contributor Award

WASHINGTON -- The Advanced Television Systems Committee today announced that Mark A. Aitken is the 2013 recipient of its highest technical honor, the Bernard J. Lechner Outstanding Contributor Award. The presentation was made today during the ATSC Annual Meeting at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center.

The Lechner Award is bestowed once a year to an individual representative of the membership whose technical and leadership contributions to the ATSC have been invaluable and exemplary. The title of the award recognizes the first recipient, Bernard Lechner, for his outstanding services to the ATSC. The award winner is selected by the Board of Directors and presented at the ATSC Annual Meeting.

“Mark has been a consistent advocate for the advancement of terrestrial broadcasting technology,” said Mark Richer, ATSC president. “His passion for the future of our industry has made him a strong leader in ATSC activities including the development of our Mobile Digital TV Standard”. 

Aitken has chaired the Specialist Group on ATSC Mobile DTV (TG1/S4) since its formation in May of 2007. Under Aitkien’s leadership, S4 worked in a highly efficient manner resulting in approval of the A/153 Mobile DTV Standard on October 15, 2009. Development and adoption of A/153 was a major milestone in the work of the ATSC. The backwards-compatible Mobile DTV Standard enables broadcasters to provide new compelling services to consumers utilizing a wide array of wireless receiving devices including mobile phones, tablets, small handheld DTVs, laptop computers and in-vehicle entertainment systems. Most recently, S4 completed work on the Mobile Emergency Alert System (M-EAS) specifications incorporated into A/153. M-EAS will make it possible for viewers to receive more than just text alerts when dangerous weather or other emergency conditions threaten public safety. 

Aitken was also a key contributor in the work of the ATSC Task Force on RF System Performance and is an active participant in the work to develop ATSC 3.0.

Mark is vice president of Advanced Technology for Sinclair Broadcast Group. He has been an active contributor to the Open Mobile Video Coalition, the Mobile500 Alliance and other industry related organizations. Prior to joining Sinclair, Mark held various positions with the COMARK Division of Thomcast. While with COMARK, he was part of the team that brought IOT technology to the marketplace.

Mark is a member of the AFCCE, IEEE and SMPTE. He is the author of many papers dealing with innovative RF product developments, advanced digital television systems design and related implementation strategies, holds patents for various RF devices, and was a recipient of the Broadcasting & Cable Technology Leadership Award in 2008. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Mobile500 Alliance and is a member of the NAB TV Technology Committee that is focused on the broader technical issues of the TV broadcasting industry.

Past recipients of the ATSC Lechner Award:

  • 2000 - Bernard Lechner, Consultant
  • 2001 - Rich Chernock, Triveni Digital
  • 2002 - Regis Crinon, Microsoft
  • 2003 - Glenn Adams, Extensible Formatting Systems, Inc
  • 2004 - Graham Jones, National Association of Broadcasters
  • 2005 - John Henderson, Hitachi
  • 2006 - Art Allison, National Association of Broadcasters
  • 2007 - Mark Eyer, Sony Electronics
  • 2008 - Michael Dolan, TBT
  • 2009 - Wayne Bretl, LG Electronics/Zenith
  • 2010 - Pat Waddell, Harmonic
  • 2011 - Jim Starzynski, NBC Universal
  • 2012 - S. Merrill Weiss, MWG Group