GODFREY STEPS DOWN

After six years on the ATSC Board of Directors, in the last two of which I have had the distinct privilege of serving as the chairman, my term will soon come to an end.  Of course, I will still be active in my favorite standards organization, and I look forward to participating in creating the next generation of broadcast TV.  Could we see a show of hands for interactive, immersive broadcast TV, available everywhere—with no impact on your mobile data plan!—on screens large and small?

When Samsung Electronics hired me in 2006 to work on technical regulatory issues in Washington, D.C., my new bosses in the corporate R&D Center in Suwon, South Korea, mentioned that they had a little side project I could help with—standardizing a technology that could upgrade fixed ATSC broadcast TV with a new capability for in-band compatible mobile TV.  I didn’t know then that ATSC Mobile-Handheld TV would become an all-consuming multi-year project, with exciting highs, nervous lows, and always the satisfaction of collaborating with the smart, dedicated experts in the ATSC.

Many broadcasters immediately saw the potential of mobile TV to add value to their spectrum and grow their audience.  Of course, there were also skeptics who thought Americans would never watch video on their tiny cell-phone screens.  None of us realized how quickly the mobile revolution would conquer the United States, with smart phones and tablets now providing connection and entertainment, including video, to millions of people on the go.

The broadcast industry came together to form the Open Mobile Video Coalition, led by Brandon Burgess of ION Media Networks, Vince Sadusky of Lin Media, and their able executive director, Anne Schelle.  They worked with technology providers to drive rapid progress on a single standard, and ATSC’s A/153 standard for mobile digital TV was published as a final standard in October, 2009.  Today, the Samsung Galaxy S Lightray 4G smart phone, available from MetroPCS, is the first of what I hope will be a long line of products bringing mobile broadcast TV to all Americans.

I want to thank the ace staff of ATSC—Mark Richer, Jerry Whitaker, Lindsay Shelton-Gross, and Daro Bruno—for their support and friendship.  Best wishes to the whole ATSC community for a joyful holiday and prosperous New Year.

 

John Godfrey

Samsung Electronics

ATSC Chairman, 2011-2012