User: sbaron1 is Stan Baron, IEEE Life Fellow, of Portland, Maine. Questions and comments can be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(NOTE: Email address <email@example.com> sometimes referenced by IEEE is no longer valid).
Summary: While employed as an engineer at General Electric (GE) in 1962, I was involved in the design of digital display processors and digital image processors and became interested in the application of digital technology to television. Prior to 1962, I was involved at GE in the design of digital computers. The remainder of my career was primarily dedicated to the application of digital technology to imaging and television. Over the next few decades, I had the good fortune to work with individuals from the Pacific Rim and Europe, as well as in the Americas, on advances in this technology. I retired from NBC as Managing Director, Technology, at the end of 1998 after completing service as chair of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) technical committee charged by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with documenting the ATSC advanced digital television system and as chair of the U.N. International Telecommunications Union (ITU/R) Task Group charged with developing Recommendations on digital television broadcasting. Acceptance of the standards documentation by the FCC and the ITU Plenary completed these commitments.
CV: (Updated NBC CV)
Stanley Baron retired at the end of 1998 as Managing Director, Technology for the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) in New York, NY, where he was responsible for the investigation, evaluation and implementation of new technology. He was involved in the design and development of digital television systems over four decades, beginning in 1962.
Mr. Baron was the inventor in 1966 of the Vidifont, the first digital graphics generator used in television production. In 1980, he described a digital sampling structure and equipment interface for television that was compatible with all existing 50 Hz and 60Hz television broadcast standards. His system was adopted in 1982 by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) as SMPTE 125 and the ITU as ITU/R Recommendation 601. (ITU standards are termed "Recommendations". ) Recommendation 601 was the basis of the international standards for component digital television and served, later, as the foundation for HDTV. He has been awarded patents in the areas of digital image processing and synthetic video generation (computer generated graphics). His contributions to digital imaging technology for medical applications included development of image processors that allowed for fluoroscopic radiation dosage reduction and non-invasive angiography.
Mr. Baron served as a consultant to other GE divisions, including the GE Research Laboratory in Schenectady, New York, and various government agencies on television technology providing briefings and reports to the FCC, Congressional and Senate staffs, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and other agencies. From 1987 to 1997, he served the State Department as a member of the U.S. delegation to the ITU. During this period, Mr. Baron was accredited to the delegation as a “special government employee”, on occasion, serving as delegation spokesperson. In 1992, he was elected on a ballot of the member-nations as Chairman of ITU/R-TG11/3, the Task Group charged with responsibility for developing international agreements concerning digital terrestrial television broadcasting, where he served until completion of the task in 1996. He also served as Chairman from 1994 to 1998 of the ATSC Technology Committee (ATSC-T3) charged by the FCC with responsibility for documenting the U.S. digital advanced television system service standard, serving as co-editor of the final document. He retired from NBC when that task was completed. He served on the ATSC Board from 1988 through 1998.
Prior to his joining NBC, he was employed by GE, Sylvania's Amherst Research Laboratory, CBS Laboratories, and Thomson-CSF Laboratories.
He is the recipient of the David Sarnoff Gold Medal (1991), the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Television Engineering Achievement Award (1993), and the SMPTE Progress Gold Medal (2003) for contributions to the development of digital television technology. He also received the New York Academy of Sciences Mayor's Award for Excellence in Science and Technology (1993) for contributions to the development of digital imaging technology in the fields of medical imaging and television. His contributions to international standards in digital communications have been recognized by the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) John Tucker Award, (1995), the Australian Broadcasting Authority (1996), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Charles Proteus Steinmetz Medal (2001).
Various aspects of his contributions have been recognized with Technical Emmy Awards from The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS): in the NATAS 1982-1983 award cycle, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), ITU, and SMPTE were recognized with EMMYs for the 4:2:2 component digital television standard; in the 1989-1990 award cycle, Panasonic was recognized with an EMMY for its development of the MARC Automatic/Robotic Record/Playback Video technology for Large Libraries that was based on Baron’s design for the NBC ARPS (Automated Record/Playback System); and in the 1991-1992 award cycle, CBS was recognized with an EMMY for the Vidifont. In the 2007-2008 award cycle, NATAS recognized the work of the ATSC with an EMMY statuette.
Mr. Baron is a past-president of SMPTE. He also served two terms as SMPTE Engineering Vice President with responsibility for supervising approximately 100 projects and approximately 600 professionals involved in developing U.S. and international technical standards. As SMPTE Engineering Vice President, he rewrote the Administrative Practices of the Society related to development of standards, reducing the minimum time to approve a standard from 2-1/2 years to 6 months while still meeting ANSI, IEC, ISO, and ITU requirements.
He has been elected an Honorary Member and Fellow of the SMPTE, an Honorary Member and Fellow of the Royal Television Society (UK), a Fellow of the IEEE, and a Fellow of the British Kinematograph Sound and Television Society (BKSTS).
Mr. Baron has presented or published more than 125 papers on various subjects dealing with real-time computer generated graphics, digital image processing, automation and related issues. He is coauthor (with Prof. Mark I. Krivocheev of the Radio Research Institute in Moscow) of the book "Digital Image and Audio Communications: Toward a Global Information Infrastructure." His formal education includes BSEE and MSEE degrees from New York University.
Mr. Baron resided in Stamford, Connecticut from 1965 through 1998. During the 1980's he served as chairman of the Stamford Police Commission.
IEEE Global History Network (IEEE-GHN) First-Hand Histories
In 2008, Mr. Baron was contacted by Dr. John Vardalas, History Center Outreach Historian, to write a First-Hand History about the invention in 1966 of the Vidifont, the first electronics graphics generator used in television production. As a result of that discussion, he was asked to write two other articles, adding the topics of the development of the 4:2:2 component digital television standard and his work as chair of the ITU committee developing agreements on digital television broadcasting.
In 2010, the IEEE published in its monthly journal (IEEE Spectrum) an article about a recent discovery by GE and Siemens that allowed for X-ray dosage reduction. This “new” discovery of 2010, as described, duplicated his work in medical imaging of 30 years before. He wrote a note to the editor of Spectrum describing his work. The letter was deemed too long to publish, but it resulted in a request for a fourth First-Hand History article.
The four First-Hand Histories, in the order written, are:
1. “Inventing the Vidifont: the first electronic graphics generator used in television production,” IEEE History Center, 11 December 2008.
2. “The Foundation of Digital Television: The Origins of the 4:2:2 Component Digital Television Standard,” IEEE History Center, 13 December 2008.
3. “Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting (DTTB) Standards,” IEEE History Center, 14 December 2008.
4. “Applying digital television technology to medical imaging = x-ray dosage reduction and non-invasive angiography,” IEEE History Center, 05 September 2010.