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Tech Emmy Awarded For HD-To-SD Conversion

Seven companies and organizations have received an Engineering and Technology Emmy Award for Active Format Description technology, which allows programmers and broadcasters to define how to convert content produced in 16-by-9 HD format into legacy analog 4-by-3 screens.

The recipients are: the Advanced Television Systems Committee, Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, Digital TV Group, Digital Video Broadcasting, NBCUniversal, Ericsson, Miranda Technologies and the Consumer Electronics Association.

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will formally present the award at 63rd Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards ceremony during the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2012.

The Active Format Description (AFD) technologies and systems were created in anticipation of the need for cable operators to provide analog narrow screen TV services in parallel with the wide screen HDTV digital service in the U.S.

NATAS is bestowing the Emmy award on the AFD developers "in recognition of their pioneering development and implementation of the Active Format Description (AFD) technology within many of their products, as well as their evangelizing efforts to drive the industry toward an end-to-end system for AFD, thus enabling tens of millions of U.S. households with legacy analog TVs to see the images intended by the program producer," Robert Seidel, chairman of the NATAS Engineering and Technology committee, said in a statement.

Last week, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers announced it -- along with SMPTE -- is the recipient of a Tech Emmy for developing local ad-insertion standards for cable

This year's other Tech Emmy Awards and recipients are:

* System for Automated Migration of Media Assets: Samma

* Pioneering Development of Large-Venue, Large-Screen Direct View Color Video Displays: Mitsubishi's Diamond Vision Systems; Prof. Shuji Nakamura of the University of California at Santa Barbara; and Nichia

* Development of Integrated, Deployable Systems for Live Reporting from Remote Environments: David Bloom; NBC; MTN Satellite Communications

* Standardization of Loudness Metering for Use in Broadcast Audio: ITU-R Study Group 6; Dolby Laboratories; Communications Research Centre; Dr. Gilbert Soulodre; and Craig Todd

* Development of Professional Tapeless Portable Acquisition Systems Using Affordable Media: Sony Professional Solutions of America

* Pioneering Development of Removable Solid State Media for Video Camera/Recorders (Camcorders): Panasonic