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Carl G. Eilers Dies

I was saddened to see the news that Carl Eilers died this week at 83. However I was pleased to see the wide recognition he received for a lifetime of work in improving broadcasting, including stereo radio, stereo TV and digital TV.

If you type Carl Eilers into Google, you’ll see what I mean.

Eilers started with Zenith Electronics in 1948 and remained with them through his career; pioneering development of stereo FM, pay TV, BTSC stereo TV and digital TV, which in the United States is based on Zenith’s 8-VSB technology. He received technical Emmy Awards for stereo TV in 1986 and for HDTV in 1997.

Zenith’s memorial to Eilers notes, “He was always recognized as a great teacher and mentor to scores of young engineers, both at Zenith and throughout the television, radio and audio industries.”

Eilers remained active with IEEE and broadcast engineering throughout his life. Less than eight years ago I wrote about a paper he delivered with Gary Sgrignoli at the IEEE in 2000, which discussed the impact of sidemounting an antenna on a tapered tower—he showed it would work better than mounting it on a straight section of tower. Eiler’s papers had the right mixture of math, real-world application and background information. I certainly appreciate the time he took to discuss his papers or other DTV topics with me at IEEE Broadcast Technology Symposiums.

Few individuals have had such an impact on such a wide range of TV broadcasting technology—from stereo TV to 8-VSB, as Carl Eilers. He will be missed.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.