2012 NAB Show Technology Luncheon Offers Up Top 10 Technologies

I was at the NAB Technology Luncheon to honor NAB Engineering Achievement Award recipients Glenn Reitmeier and Paul Brenner. While I've been fortunate to work with Glenn Reitmeier at NBC over the last 10 years and knew he played a key role in the development of the ATSC standard and the A/153 Mobile DTV standard, the video shown at the luncheon showed his work was part of the development of digital TV itself, including interface standards such as SDI and fundamental digital TV color standards including ITU 601. See Glenn Reitmeier and the HDTV Standard: Three Decades of Digital Disruption in the Creative COW Newsletter for more on his accomplishments.

The keynote speaker at the luncheon was Brian Cooley from CNET. While he prefaced his “Top Ten Technology” countdown by saying he was not going to discuss broadcast technology, the four criteria he used to evaluate the technologies is something we need to consider when rolling out Mobile DTV and planning ATSC 2.0 and ATSC 3.0.The four criteria are transparent, intuitive, intimate and constant. The two I zeroed in on were “transparent” and “intuitive”.Programming a VHS VCR is neither, but the iPad, one of his top 10, is.It's intuitive – tap and slide a finger – and transparent; the operating system doesn't get it in the way and there is no keyboard or mouse to interfere with the experience.

I searched the web looking for a copy of his slides or his presentation. Unfortunately, while he appears to have given this presentation to other groups based on some twitter messages I found, couldn't find anything beyond some twitter posts.

Listening to his presentation, it sounds like Mobile DTV has many of the characteristics of his top 10 technologies. The challenge will be developing interfaces for ATSC 2.0 interactivity and connected TV sets as well as the future ATSC 3.0 broadcast system that meet his transparent, intuitive, intimate and constant criteria.

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.