Posted on February 3, 2014 in ATSC News
VP Technology, Technicolor
Chairman, S34-1 Video Technology Ad Hoc Group, TG-3
An active participant in ATSC 3.0 development, video veteran Alan Stein, Vice President of Research & Development at Technicolor, is helping lead the charge for next-generation television standards. Chairman of the S34-1 ad hoc group on video technology, Stein brings his extensive expertise and video and television knowledge to the ATSC 3.0 process.
After earning a BSEE degree from Tufts University, Stein began his career at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory in the mid 1980s, working on real-time digital signal and image processing subsystems for radars. In 1994, he joined Ariel Corporation, a DSP startup focused on the defense, telecom and pro-audio markets.
“I started my own consulting company in 1997,” says Stein. “During my six years of ‘independence,’ I was fortunate to work with Sarnoff on real-time vision systems, NEC/Signafy on video watermarking and Bell Labs on wireless video communication, including implementing several video codecs.”
He headed to Thomson in 2002, just as H.264 video compression was being standardized, and led a team implementing that important technology. As H.264 (MPEG-AVC) spread into satellite, IPTV and mobile video solutions, he became deeply engaged with Thomson’s set-top box and Grass Valley Broadcast divisions, as well as IPTV solutions groups. As they say, the rest is history. (Thomson became Technicolor a few years ago, but it’s basically the same company.)
Stein says working with so many world-class experts is a huge benefit of ATSC membership. “There are so many important companies in the industry who are involved in this organization,” he notes. “Technicolor is actively participating in many of the TG3 technical groups. I’m pleased to chair the S34-1 ad hoc group, and my colleague Ralf Schaefer is vice-chair of the S33 group. Our Research and Innovation organization includes many experts in video, audio, networking, communication and security, who can contribute to the ATSC’s important work.”
Stein says, “This is an exciting time for broadcast technology. TG3’s mission to incorporate broadcast and broadband into hybrid networks and to adopt IP-based solutions opens the door for a wide range of new approaches.”
When asked the most surprising thing he’s learned as an ATSC member, Stein cracks a pretty good joke. “I’d have to say the biggest surprise was learning that PBS’ Jim Kutzner (who’s retiring this month) prefers ice fishing in Minnesota to working.”
When not working, Stein enjoys spending time with wife Marcia and children Leah and Jake. He’s an avid jazz guitarist, leading lead a group in the Princeton, N.J. area named Straight On Red. “We focus on the music of Pat Metheny as well as original compositions,” says Stein.
Stein is also a lover of the outdoors. “I was a passionate Ultimate Frisbee player for over 25 years, but more recently I’ve traded in my cleats for a road bike, and I enjoy long rides in the unspoiled farmland you find between Princeton and the Jersey shore.”
Posted in ATSC News
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The Advanced Television Systems Committee, Inc., is an international, non-profit organization developing voluntary standards and recommended practices for digital terrestrial broadcasting. ATSC member organizations represent the broadcast, broadcast equipment, motion picture, consumer electronics, computer, cable, satellite, and semiconductor industries. ATSC also develops digital terrestrial broadcasting implementation strategies and supports educational activities on ATSC standards.