The National Academy of TV Arts and Sciences handed out the 2009 Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards Wednesday night at the Venetian in Las Vegas. Below is a list of award recipients:
Ivan G. Seidenberg, chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Sony Chairman and CEO Howard Stringer.
Stringer, who had worked for Seidenberg back in the 90’s on the failed telco video venture known as Tele-TV, remembered Seidenberg warmly, pointing out that he began his career as a cable splicer before working his way up to lead one of the world’s largest telcos.
“He began at the bottom and worked in the field, which I always thought was a romantic aspect about Ivan, how far he had come,” said Stringer. “He’s still on top of the pole, if you think about it, only now it’s a very big pole.”
The ever-witty Stringer also made a few jokes at Seidenberg’s expense. He noted that while a Tele-TV hat goes for $1000 on Ebay, he would sell one to any audience member for $1.70. He also poked a bit of fun at Verizon Wireless’ current marketing campaign.
“I’m relieved to see that Ivan has brought his wife and son here tonight, instead of a thousand Verizon technicians,” said Stringer. “Actually, if you go in the next room you’ll see all of them standing there, desperate to come through the door and help him out.”
For his part, Seidenberg thanked Verizon’s board of directors for having the courage to change the direction of the company to dive into the video business and compete with cable, the Verizon engineers who designed its fiber networks, Verizon’s numerous content partners, and the thousands of Verizon employees, “including the ones in the next room.”
He said that the industry is currently at one of its “pivot points” because of the rapid pace of technological advancements.
“I’m confident that with the inventiveness and passion of the people in this room, the best is yet to come,” said Seidenberg.
In addition, The Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service, the Advanced Television System Committee, the Advanced Television Test Center, and the Advanced Television Evaluation Laboratory won the Standardization of the ATSC Digital System Awards.
The ATSC award drew out an all-star cast of digital TV pioneers, including former FCC chairman and ACATS chief Dick Wiley, former ATTC director Peter Fannon, former ATSC executive director Dr. Robert Hopkins and current ATSC president Mark Richer, who all remembered the country’s long march toward a digital TV standard.
Richer noted that while people remark to him that the Feb. 17 analog turn-off is a major milestone for DTV, he disagrees, as DTV has been on air for ten years now and ATSC is focused on enhancements to the standard, such as mobile DTV.
“In my mind, it’s not, it’s a major milestone for analog television,” said Richer. “Death is a major milestone.”
Harris Corporation and Sony Electronics won the Serial Interface and Protocols for Server/VTR Control Awards.
The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and Thomson Grass Valley won the Development and Standardization of File Formats for Video and Audio Awards.
Tandberg Television and DirecTV won the Pioneering Development of MPEG-4AVC systems for HDTV Awards.
Harris Corporation, Micro Communications Inc., and Radio Frequency Systems won the Pioneering RF Combiners for Adjacent Channels on Common Antenna Systems Awards.
The Metropolitan Opera Association won the Ongoing Live Global HD Cinemacasting Award.
Silicon Image, Thomson, Toshiba, Sony Electronics, Matsushita, Hitachi, Philips, Molex, Japan Aviation Electronics, and Intel won the HDMI Development Awards.
XOrbit and Scripps Networks won the Delivery Confirmation Systems Awards.
Video Coding Expert Group and Moving Picture Experts Group won the MPEG-4 AVC Standard Awards.
With David Tanklefsky
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