By  Glenn Reitmeier

This past March marked the 25th Anniversary of the formation of the Digital HDTV Grand Alliance on March 24, 1993. To commemorate the occasion, I created a short video from Grand Alliance photos and some never-before-seen video that I took on March 30, 1995, when we completed system integration at Sarnoff:

Also here is a short preview of the Grand Alliance’s world premiere demonstration and press conference at NAB 1995:


My apologies for the poor video quality, which was recorded on a consumer 8mm analog 480i camcorder (the best available consumer recording format at the time) amidst the busy events. It certainly reinforces the advances that have been made – today we would have recorded HD video with a phone!

As we remember and celebrate the breakthrough work of the Grand Alliance on digital HDTV broadcasting, we must also recognize the Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service, the Test Centers and the industry pioneers who contributed to making ATSC 1.0 the world's first digital TV standard.  It catalyzed the ecosystem of digital broadcast, cable, satellite and internet delivery and the ubiquitous use of HDTV that we enjoy today.

And of course, SMPTE efforts on HDTV preceded, accompanied and followed the work of the Grand Alliance. SMPTE is a founding member of ATSC, along with the Consumer Technology Association and the IEEE.  SMPTE standards for 16:9 aspect ratio, the 1125-line HD format, analog HD signal interfaces and the 1920 x 1080 video format were essential foundations.  Standardization of the 720p format was an important parallel step and the development of HD-SDI was essential to make HDTV production and broadcast facilities a practical reality. 

As we celebrate the Silver Anniversary of the Digital HDTV Grand Alliance and its impact, SMPTE and all of its members can be proud of the contributions that our Society made to create HDTV.

P.S. I hope that you enjoy the video – and look for Phil Cianci, the Editorial Director of “Magic and Miracles” and other publications on HDTV and digital television