Symposium Technical Track

Program Committee

Skip Pizzi

Skip Pizzi is Senior Director of New Media Technologies at the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington, DC, where he advises the company and its members on new media and other emerging technology developments. His career has spanned the broadcast and new-media industries, as an engineer and technology manager at NPR, and at Microsoft, with over a decade of experience at each.

Skip also spent seven years as technical editor at Broadcast Engineering magazine, and he’s been a regular columnist and contributor to several other technical journals in the broadcast and new-media fields. He is the author of two books, and a contributor to several others, including the NAB Engineering Handbook and other technical reference texts. He is also an experienced trainer and consultant to government, educational and professional sectors of the media industry. His work has garnered numerous awards, including the Audio Engineering Society’s Board of Governors Award, the Dupont-Columbia Award and the Prix Italia.
 
Skip is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he studied Electrical Engineering, International Economics and Fine Arts. He currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) Technology Group 3 (TG3), which is developing standards for the next generation of digital television broadcasting. He also represents NAB at the Society of Cable Television Engineers (SCTE) and at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

David Brooks

David Brooks works for Dolby Laboratories in San Francisco as Senior Director, Technology Strategy in the office of the CTO.  He has spent more than 30 years in consumer electronics and professional broadcast industries including managing the research programs for Snell & Wilcox in the UK and before that for Thomson in France.  Over this period, he has been responsible for many projects including the design of the first HD MPEG-2 chipset to the algorithms behind the HD to HD frame rate conversion used, for example, by NBC for the coverage of the London & Beijing Olympic Games.  Since joining Dolby three year ago, David has been working on the efficient delivery of full resolution 3D content, autostereoscopic image processing and High Dynamic Range / Wider Color Gamut content to the home.

Michael DeValue
 
Michael is Director of Advanced Technology at the Walt Disney Studios, where he is responsible for Standards, as well as researching new technologies related to content distribution such as 3D, 4K and High Dynamic Range. He has co-chaired several groups related to 3D in the home for SMPTE and presented a session on Captions in Stereoscopic 3D at the 2010 SMPTE Technical Conference. In addition to SMPTE, he is an active participant in the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) and Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) and is also the current Chairman of the International 3D and Advanced Imaging Society.

Thomas Edwards

Thomas Edwards is Vice President, Engineering & Development at FOX Network Engineering & Operations, where he works on advanced technology projects such as mobile DTV, 3D, and the FOX network satellite distribution system.  Previous to joining FOX in 2007, he was Senior Manager, Interconnection Engineering for the PBS Interconnection Replacement Office, where he was responsible for the engineering planning of the PBS Next Generation Interconnection System (NGIS).  He also has had significant experience with streaming media production and delivery at the Internet service provider DIGEX and the IP-over-satellite company Cidera.  Edwards has contributed to the Report of the SMPTE Task Force on 3D to the Home and the NAB Engineering Handbook.  He holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, and is a member of IEEE and SMPTE.

Pat Griffis

Patrick Griffis is Executive Director, Technology Strategy in the Office of the CTO at Dolby Laboratories where he is charged with helping define future technology strategy for the company. Prior to Dolby, he spent 10 years at Microsoft leading digital media standards strategy on a global basis including adoption of the Digital Living Network Alliance as a baseline media sharing standard in Windows 7 and standardization of Windows Media Video technology as an international standard in SMPTE. Prior to Microsoft, Pat spent 15 years at Panasonic in senior management positions including VP/ Strategic Product Development at Panasonic Broadcast where he helped launch DVCPRO and drive HDTV strategy for the USA. Pat started his career at RCA earning 8 patents in TV product design. He serves on the executive committee of the SMPTE and is a SMPTE Fellow. He is past member of the board of the ATSC and past Vice Chairman of the board of the Digital Living Network Alliance. He is an invited member of the IBC Council, an industry executive advisory group as well as the Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. He served two terms as President of the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society. Pat holds a BSEE from Tufts University and an MSEE from Purdue University. 

James Helman

Jim Helman is an industry-recognized technologist who brings to MovieLabs an extensive background inbuilding entertainment-related products and a passion for technological innovation. Jim was a founding architect and later chief software architect at Liberate Technologies, where he led the design of systems for delivering interactive cable services. Prior to Liberate, he was a software architect at Silicon Graphics, developing real-time 3D systems for location-based entertainment, virtual sets, and simulation. Jim has also consulted extensively on software architecture, intellectual property and product development for many companies including Comcast, NEC Research Labs and Xerox PARC. Having worked for over twenty years with Silicon Valley technology companies and start-ups, he is frequently called upon by entrepreneurs and investors as an expert advisor on patent and technology issues. Jim holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Applied Physics from Stanford University and a B.A. in Physics and Math from Washington University. 

Hans Hoffmann

Hans Hoffmann was born in Munich, Germany. He holds a diploma in telecommunication engineering from the University of Applied Sciences in Munich. In 2007, he completed his Ph.D. studies at Brunel University West London, at the School of Engineering and Design. From 1993 to 2000, Hoffmann worked at the Insitut fuer Rundfunktechnik in research and development for new television production technologies. In 2000, he joined the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) as a senior engineer in the technical department. Hoffmann has chaired the EBU project groups P/BRRTV and P/PITV, which were both involved in standardization activities such SDTI and file formats. Hoffmann is currently SMPTE Standards Vice President. He chaired the SMPTE technology committee on Networks and File Management and has served as Engineering Director, Television. He has been involved in EBU activities on high-definition television production and emission and set up the HDTV testing laboratory at the EBU. Hoffmann is a fellow of SMPTE and a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), FKT (Germany), and the Society for Information Display (SID). 

James Kutzner

James Kutzner is Chief Engineer at PBS where he oversees the Engineering and Technical Support groups within PBS, including technical planning, development, and support of current and future operational systems. Kutzner has held several roles in the development of television broadcast and production standards and facilities including at the Advanced Television Technology Center and Thales.  Previous to that he was Vice President, Operations and Engineering at Twin Cities Public Television, and Associate Director of Engineering at PBS where he participated in various projects including the move to digital distribution via satellite.  

Kutzner is the Vice Chair of the ATSC Planning Committee and has participated in DTV development activities since 1990.  He holds a Masters degree in Engineering Management from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota.  He is a Fellow of SMPTE and a member of the IEEE. 

Rajan Mehta

Rajan Mehta is currently the Chief Technology Officer of Dyle mobile TV. In this capacity, Mehta oversees Dyle mobile TV’s management responsibilities for content distribution, network operations and in-market signal coverage. He also leads product design, application development, conditional access, digital rights management and consumer device deployment of Dyle. Mehta has led the technical operations for Dyle since the joint venture was created in 2010.
 
In addition to his CTO role with Dyle, Mehta is also the Executive Director of Advanced Technology at NBCUniversal, where he provides strategic direction for NBCUniversal Television networks and broadcast stations on commercial agreements, new media products, and upcoming technology trends. In addition, he drives technology-related policy initiatives for the company and is an active participant in a number of industry standards and trade associations.
 
Previously, Mehta held technology positions for NBC Sports, General Electric and Sitetrends, an east coast based internet company. 
 
He has deployed a number of new technologies including NBCU’s first broadband video player, the launch of NBCSports.com, the launch of the 2008 Summer Olympics on NBCOlympics.com and most recently led NBCU’s network television deployment of ATSC-Mobile broadcasts. 
 
Mehta was part of the team that received an Emmy Award in 2008 for “Outstanding New Approaches in Sports Broadcasting,” for his work with NBC Olympics.
 
Mehta is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and earned an MBA from Fordham University. He resides in Stamford, Connecticut with his wife and 2 daughters.