Posted on March 3, 2015 in ATSC News
Lachlan Michael, Sony
Dr. Lachlan Michael is a Research and Development Manager at Sony Corporation. He’s heavily involved in ATSC work, perhaps best known as the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Group on Modulation and Coding (S32-2), part of the TG3 Technology Group working on the ATSC 3.0 standard.
After earning his Ph.D. from Keio University in Tokyo, Michael was hired as a researcher at Sony Computer Science Laboratories, working for two years on Software-Defined Radio and Ultra-Wideband communications. He then moved to Sony Corp. where he worked on the first “One-seg” ISDB-T mobile television demodulator LSI. Later, he worked on ISDB-T “Full-seg” demodulators. “I was excited when I could purchase my first Bravia LCD TV that contained an LSI I had made!” Michael says.
His focus then shifted to Europe, and he worked on DVB-T, DVB-T2 and DVB-C2 demodulators while contributing to the standardization of second-generation digital broadcasting including DVB-S2X. “I was excited when ATSC embarked on next-gen broadcasting technology; ATSC 3.0 has been my main focus for the past few years” says Michael, who’s been working for about 13 years with television-related projects.
Strong Company Participation
“Sony has implemented ATSC 1.0 demodulators as well as being involved in ATSC standardization work in ATSC 2.0, A/153 as well as ATSC 3.0,” Michael notes.
“My role has been within the physical layer mostly, including serving as chairman of the S32-2, but I’ve poked my head into other groups, such as S32-3, S32-4 and S33-1. I try and make sure I don’t focus on only one aspect of the standard. For me, the most exciting part is actually getting to build and test the equipment, so I can’t wait to finish ATSC 3.0 and begin on the ‘real’ engineering.”
Benefits of ATSC Involvement
“For me, an important part of ATSC activities is the networking aspect,” Michael explains when asked about the benefits of ATSC participation. “Being able to meet and discuss with such a large number of professionals who have an enormous combined depth of experience is helpful. It is humbling to be able to hear from ATSC members who were designing digital TV standards while I was still in high school!”
Michael continues, “I think it’s important for all stakeholders to be active in having a say about how the standards are developed and deployed. ATSC is the place where broadcasters, transmitter and receiver equipment manufacturers all come together. Compromises are sometimes necessary, but at the end of the day we share the same goal to create a successful digital TV standard which betters the lives of a lot of people.”
Rubber Chickens and Gardening
He also points to some of the more surprising aspects of ATSC participation. “Hearing about the history of digital television, particularly ATSC 1.0 development, has been a real eye-opener, especially learning from the people who were part of that historic development process – oh, and rubber chickens.”
When Michael isn’t at work or in ATSC meetings, he says he tries to stay away from electronics. “I live in Tokyo currently, so it’s good to get away from the city life for hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter with my family. I also have my small garden to work on when I don’t want to go so far.”
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.