Posted on May 1, 2014 in ATSC News
Lechner, Bendov, Brinkley each made indelible mark
ATSC this month mourns the loss of three broadcast TV champions, each making a significant contribution to today’s digital TV landscape.
“Bernie Lechner, Oded Bendov, and Joel Brinkley each brought a different focus to the advanced television cause, shepherding technical developments and reporting on how the digital TV transformation began. And each will be missed for his work,” said ATSC President Mark Richer.
Bernard J. Lechner
Pioneer of technical research on advanced television and display systems, and standards development for high-definition television (HDTV), Bernard Lechner died April 11th.
The ATSC’s Lechner Award is bestowed once a year to an individual representative of the membership whose technical and leadership contributions to the ATSC have been invaluable and exemplary. The title of the award recognizes the first recipient, Bernard Lechner, for his outstanding services to the ATSC. The award winner is selected by the Board of Directors and presented at the ATSC Annual Meeting.
“I know that I speak for many colleagues who are deeply saddened by Bernie’s passing. We have lost a mentor, supporter, colleague and friend,” said Glenn Reitmeier, ATSC Board of Directors chairman. “But we celebrate Bernie’s life and accomplishments and give thanks for the wisdom that he imparted in us. And as we reflect upon those lessons learned, we’ll always fondly recall Bernie’s deep, hearty laugh and his contagious smile.”
Formerly Staff Vice President, Advanced Video Systems, RCA Laboratories, Mr. Lechner’s 30-year career at RCA covered all aspects of television and display research, from early work on home video tape recorders in the late 1950’s, extensive development of flat-panel matrix displays in the 1960’s including pioneering efforts on active-matrix liquid crystal displays, advanced two-way cable TV systems and pay-TV systems in the early 1970’s, electronic tuning systems and CCD comb-filters for TV receivers in the mid-1970’s, automated broadcast cameras and CCD broadcast cameras in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, to HDTV in the mid-1980’s. Two of the broadcast camera projects for which Mr. Lechner led the research team were awarded an Emmy by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Mr. Lechner received two RCA Laboratories Outstanding Achievement Awards and a David Sarnoff Team Award in Science.
He served as chairman of the ATSC Specialists Group on Digital TV Transport Standards (T3/S8) and was an active participant in the other various groups working on standards for Advanced Television Systems in the U.S. including the FCC Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service (ACATS), SMPTE, and the CEMA/NCTA Digital Standards Working Group relating to standards for “Cable-Ready” Digital Television receivers.
During 1989 and 1990, Mr. Lechner served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the extraordinary and final meetings of the Comite Consultatif International des Radiocommunications (CCIR) in Geneva concerning international HDTV standards.
He was chairman of the Teletext Committee of the Electronic Industries Association from 1980 to 1986 and has been a member of the National Cable Television Association Engineering Committee since 1977. He served for 15 years as Chairman of the Advisory Commission for Electrical Engineering at Mercer County Community College and was a member of the Board of Directors of Palisades Institute for Research Services since 1981.
Bernie Lechner was a Fellow of the IEEE, the Society for Information Display (SID) and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). He was a member of Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu and Sigma Xi. In 1971 he was named the first recipient of the Frances Rice Darne Award by SID for his outstanding contributions to matrix displays. In 1972 he was elected to the SID Board of Directors and served as Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President and President (1978-1980) of SID. In 1983 he was named the first recipient of the Beatrice Winner Award for his contributions to SID. In 1996 Mr. Lechner was awarded the David Sarnoff Gold Medal by SMPTE for his many contributions to the technologies essential to today’s television systems.
Mr. Lechner is survived by his wife of 60 years, Joan M. Lechner of Newtown, PA, and his sister, Patricia A. Nahas of Austin, TX, and their families. He will be remembered not only for his technical brilliance, but also for his patient mentoring of numerous engineers, his love for, and support of, the arts, his enjoyment of square dancing and poker, and his broadcaster’s voice, which will long be missed on ham radios everywhere. He was a longtime resident of Princeton, NJ.
Dr. Oded Bendov
World renowned TV antenna designer inventor Dr. Oded Bendov died on April 2 at the age of 76 due to complications from prostate cancer.
Dr. Bendov was a published author an expert in antenna design having led the charge in the television industry’s transition to circularity polarized TV antennas. He was recognized for his work in this field by receiving an Emmy Technical Achievement Award in 1984 and the Television Engineering Achievement Award from NAB in 1985.
After emigrating to the U.S. in 1937, Dr. Bendov studied at Howard University then received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Northwestern University in 1967, later going to work for RCA in the Antenna Engineering Center. He was later named senior vice president and chief scientist when the Antenna Center was acquired by Dielectric Communications in 1986.
In 2003, Dr. Bendov saw an opportunity to focus on the development of new technologies and design and left Dielectric forming the Transmission Antenna Group. Dr. Bendov’s team provided valuable consulting services to broadcasters and television set manufacturers. Computer–based instrumentation was developed under the expert guidance of Bendov to provide quick and accurate measurement of the transfer function of TV and FM broadcast antennas.
“Dr. Bendov was committed to the advancement of high power transmission antenna technology for the broadcasting industry,“ said ATSC President Mark Richer. “We have lost one of the industry’s truly great scientists.”
Dr. Bendov held several patents and authored many technical papers on television antennas, propagation, and interference as well as chapters on transmitting antennas in the TV Engineering Handbook and the Encyclopedia from Electrical and Electronics Engineering. In 2003, he received the M. Siukola Memorial Award for the best paper presented at the IEEE 53rd Annual Broadcast Symposium.
He is survived by his wife, Dagny Henderson; two daughters, Elana Daitz (Jeffrey) and Maya Shaw (Joe); two step-children, Bill Henderson (Elena) and Karin Henderson Gorant (Jim); and nine grandchildren, Zachary, Sam and Tim Shaw; Hannah Daitz; George, Will and Daniel Henderson; Grace and Alex Gorant.
Joel G. Brinkley
Joel Brinkley, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, White House correspondent and reporter at The New York Times, died March 11 in Washington from acute undiagnosed leukemia, resulting in respiratory failure from pneumonia. He was 61.
Brinkley is best known in the television industry for his reporting on the digital TV transition, and his 1998 book “Defining Vision,” published as the transition began.
Coverage from the Cambodian refugee crisis while working at the Louisville Courier-Journal earned him a Pulitzer for international reporting. He took this in stride as he ventured into topics including drugs, federal immigration service and the Microsoft antitrust case.
Born in Washington and son of longtime broadcaster David Brinkley, Joel attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1975 and went to work for the Associated Press in Charlotte, NC and several others before ending up with the Times in 1978.
He was Jerusalem bureau chief from 1988 to 1991, returning that year to work as a project editor in the Washington bureau. He later spent three years as political editor of the metropolitan desk in New York. He won numerous awards, including the George Polk Award in 1994 for national reporting, which he shared with the Times reporters Deborah Sontag and Stephen Engelberg.
Mr. Brinkley left The Times in 2006 to teach journalism at Stanford University, and he remained there until late last year, when he became a tactical adviser to John F. Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction.
Besides Ms. Chartrand, a former reporter at The Times, his survivors include his two daughters, Veronica and Charlotte; two brothers, Alan, a professor of American history at Columbia, and John, a writer and journalist; a sister, Alexis Collins; and his stepmother, Susan Brinkley.
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.