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Wayne E. Bretl of LG Electronics has been honored by the Advanced Television Systems Committee Inc. (ATSC) as the 2009 recipient of the Bernard J. Lechner Outstanding Contributor Award. The presentation was made May 14 at the St. Louis Four Seasons Hotel, during the ATSC Annual Meeting.

“Wayne’s participation in many aspects of ATSC activities over the years, as well as his ongoing efforts to help develop the ATSC Mobile DTV Standard, have been critically important,” said Mark Richer, ATSC president. “He is one of the original developers of VSB (vestigial side band), a key component of the ATSC DTV Standard. His continuous efforts to improve and expand on the capabilities of VSB technology are among the main reasons that the ATSC is honoring Wayne with the 2009 Lechner award.”

Bretl is a senior engineer at LG Electronics’ U.S. R&D subsidiary, Zenith Electronics. He received the BSEE from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1966, and joined Zenith in 1975. He holds 26 patents in television technology and related areas. A Senior Member of IEEE, and a member of SMPTE, AES, and SID, Bretl represents LG in ATSC and a number of professional and industry associations. He is a co-recipient of the 2006 IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award, for contributions to the development of the VSB digital transmission system for DTV broadcasting, and is the recipient of the 2006 SMPTE David Sarnoff Medal Award for contributions to television engineering.

The Bernard J. Lechner Award was established in 2000 to recognize outstanding technical contributions to the ATSC. The award is named after the first honoree, Bernard J. Lechner, now a consultant to government and industry and an expert on all aspects of television and display systems.

“An outstanding choice,” Lechner stated when informed Bretl is this year’s recipient. “I have known Wayne for 25 years and have always admired him. He is an engineer's engineer and an outstanding contributor to the ongoing development of ATSC digital television standards.”