Digital clarity


Amid the competing standards and business plans that have so distorted the digital picture of late, it was nice to find some clarity at NAB. Not, as it turns out, over the ongoing 8-VSB vs. COFDM fight, which raged unabated. We had hoped for a truce of sorts and some war-room strategizing for the good of all concerned. Instead, it remained primarily a war: the Hatfields and McCoys for a new millennium. The clarity came in the recognition of the contributions to digital made by three pioneers: Woo Hyun Paik, whose compression technique opened the door to the digital age; Rob Glaser, who pioneered the video streaming that holds the promise of wedding the old TV with the new; and Dick Wiley, who strove diligently to bring broadcasters, policymakers and engineers together in building a digital future. However the digital world is finally constituted, these pioneers provided the tools and the vision.