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IEEE Honors Zenith Engineers for HDTV Development Work

At the IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics in Las Vegas last week, three of the engineers responsible for developing the ATSC DTV transmission system were presented with the 2006 IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award.

Wayne Bretl, Richard Citta and Wayne Luplow worked with other research engineers at Zenith to create the 8-VSB transmission system adopted as the U.S. DTV transmission standard by the FCC.

If you followed the creation of the U.S. DTV standard, you know that this team of engineers was asked to develop a system that would be robust enough to handle interference from existing NTSC stations while creating as little interference as possible to existing NTSC stations. Since many VHF TV stations would be forced to use a UHF channel for DTV, the system had to work with as low a carrier-to-noise ratio as possible to maximize coverage area. Finally, it also had to be able to transmit a data rate sufficient for HDTV. Many of these requirements conflict with each other, making the task of developing a practical system for consumer electronics that much more difficult.

Wayne Bretl is an IEEE senior member and is research and development manager at Zenith, now the U.S. research division of LG Electronics. IEEE fellow Wayne Luplow is a vice president at Zenith Electronics Corp. and is editor of the IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics. He is also a member of the board of directors of both the ATSC and the ATSC Forum. Richard Citta is an IEEE member and chief scientist at Micronas Semiconductor Inc. For his work at Zenith's R&D laboratory, he became the only two-time recipient of Zenith's highest technical honor, the Robert Adler Technical Excellence Award.