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ATSC Gives Jim Starzynsky Its Top Award

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has given Jim Starzynski, principal engineer and audio architect for NBC Universal Advanced Engineering its highest technical honor, the 2011 Bernard J. Lechner Outstanding Contributor Award.

The presentation was made during the ATSC's annual meeting on May 10 in recognition for Starzynski's work in audio and audio loudness issues.

"Jim's leadership in audio loudness activities is vital to the ongoing work of the ATSC and the television industry," said John Godfrey, chairman of the ATSC's Board of Directors in a statement. "On behalf of the ATSC board and membership, our congratulations to Jim as this year's Lechner award honoree."

Starzynski led the effort to develop the ATSC A/85 Recommended Practice "Techniques for Establishing and Maintaining Audio Loudness for Digital Television." The Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act requires the FCC to mandate use of A/85 for commercial advertisements.

The award's name comes from its first recipient, long-time broadcasting technology leader Bernard Lechner, for his outstanding services to the ATSC.

Besides his work on A/85, Starzynski oversees audio technologies and practices for all NBC Universal's broadcast and cable properties. He is responsible for establishing NBC's audio strategy for DTV and works with leading manufacturers to develop next-generation audio and video systems.

Prior to his current position, he spent more than a 20 years in various engineering roles and he has worked at many facilities at NBC, including the Today Show's sidewalk studio, audio facilities for Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and the all-digital network broadcast operations center.

Starzynski was also a key contributor to the design of CNBC's World Headquarters in New Jersey, where he was responsible for satellite and audio systems. He has been honored with four Emmy Awards for technical achievement for the 1992, 2002, 2004 and 2006 Olympic Games broadcasts.

Starzynski is currently chairman of the audio subcommittee of the North American Broadcaster's Association and chairs the ATSC technical subgroup S6-3 on digital television loudness.

He is also on the board of directors for the home audio division of the Consumer Electronics Association and a member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and the Audio Engineering Society.