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Newseum Washington DC (photo CEA)Gary Shapiro, President and CEO Consumer Electronics Association (photo CEA)As I did on previous years since 2004 when it was known as “CEA’s HDTV Summit: Partnership, Policy and Profits and 2003 Academy of Digital Television Pioneers Awards”, this Tuesday April 24th I attended again the “CES on the Hill” press event, this time in the Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, and the following day I was also invited to the Digital Patriots dinner, this time at the Newseum in Washington, DC, to honor three leaders that contributed their efforts to the consumer electronics industry, those are Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Jason Chaffetz, and I quote “for their support of technology innovation”, and David Rubenstein, Managing Director of Carlyle Group, “for his efforts to advance technology”, as said by the Consumer Electronics Association’s President and CEO, Gary Shapiro.
David Rubenstein, Managing Director of Carlyle Group, accepting honor from Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of CEA (photo CEA)David Rubenstein, Managing Director of Carlyle Group, acceptance speech (photo CEA)The Consumers Electronics Association, as profiled, is “the U.S. trade association representing more than 2,000 consumer electronics companies and owning and producing the continent's largest annual tradeshow, the International CES,... [which] unites more than 100,000 retail buyers, distributors, manufacturers, market analysts, importers, exporters, and press from 140 countries.”
Digital Patriots Dinner (photo CEA)CES on the Hill (photo CEA)John Taylor of LG Electronics USA demoing the 3DTV (photo CEA)Relative to the annual International 2012 CES with 3100 exhibitors, 153,000 attendees, 1.86 million of sq. feet of exhibit space, “CES on the Hill” showed a very small number of product innovations in an environment suited for networking with leaders, policy makers, and their staff, who (luckily avoiding the Washington rush hour) just have to cross the street from Capitol Hill to see the innovations.

Open Mobile Video Coalition demosSyncback's Jack Perry and StaffSome of the products shown at CES on the Hill were: the Hopper whole house DVR system from DISH Network shown by Mr. Aaron M. Johnson, Corporate Communications Manager. LG’s passive 3D LCD TV shown by John Taylor, LG Electronics USA’s Vice President of Government Relations and Communications (long time friend of HDTV Magazine’s co-owner Dale Cripps, and mine as well).
Open Mobile Video CoalitionOpen Mobile Video CoalitionSony’s new tablet was shown by Jim Morgan, Director and Counsel, Government and Industry Affairs. Syncbak, an Internet Broadcast Platform for live mobile devices and OTT that uses cellular and Wi-Fi rather than the over-the-air mobile broadcasting technology, was shown by Jack Perry, Founder and CEO Syncbak, Inc. (remember Antenna Web?).

Open Mobile Video Coalition demoQualcomm demoing H.265Just across the hall, the Open Mobile Video Coalition was demoing their products and system for a similar purpose of mobile TV, but rather using over-the-air broadcasting bandwidth, which now claims to use only a few Kbps from the 19 Mbps a HDTV signal ideally would need for quality from the allotted 6 MHz channel bandwidth (the image was very clear on the mall devices demo). A demo of the more efficient H.265 compression standard soon to be implemented was compared with the currently used H.264 MPEG-4; H.265 may open the doors for a near future 4K Blu-ray using the same disc (so I can have content for my 4K projector).

Qualcomm demoing H.265 compared to H.264I had the pleasure and opportunity to share the dining table with Tom Butts, Editor-in-Chief of TV Technology magazine, NewBay Media L.L.C., with whom I agree on many of his views, especially about the struggle that over-the-air broadcasters are going thru with the FCC and the nation’s plans to redistribute their bandwidth for other purposes.

And finally, do you know which speech of the Digital Patriots Dinner I liked the best? Mr. David Rubenstein’s by far. His words, out of the typical political rhetoric of Washington’s Congress, were very down the earth and were said with humility, giving sincere recognition to who in his view were the real patriots in this country. Mr. Rubinstein was for me the best of the event, congratulations.

Posted by Rodolfo La Maestra, May 3, 2012 7:34 AM

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About Rodolfo La Maestra

Rodolfo La Maestra is the Senior Technical Director of UHDTV Magazine and HDTV Magazine and participated in the HDTV vision since the late 1980's. In the late 1990's, he began tracking and reviewing HDTV consumer equipment, and authored the annual HDTV Technology Review report, tutorials, and educative articles for HDTV Magazine, DVDetc and HDTVetc  magazines, Veritas et Visus Newsletter, Display Search, and served as technical consultant/editor for the "Reference Guide" and the "HDTV Glossary of Terms" for HDTVetc and HDTV Magazines.  In 2004, he began recording a weekly HDTV technology program for MD Cable television, which by 2006 reached the rating of second most viewed.

Rodolfo's background encompasses Electronic Engineering, Computer Science, and Audio and Video Electronics, with over 4,700 hours of professional training, a BS in Computer and Information Systems, and thirty+ professional and post-graduate certifications, some from MIT, American, and George Washington Universities.  Rodolfo was also Computer Science professor in five institutions between 1966-1973 in Argentina, regarding IBM, Burroughs, and Honeywell mainframe computers.  After 38 years of computer systems career, Rodolfo retired in 2003 as Chief of Systems Development from the Inter-American Development Bank directing sixty+ software-development computer professionals, supporting member countries in north/central/south America.

In parallel, from 1998 he helped the public with his other career of audio/video electronics, which started with hi-end audio in the early 60’s and merged with Home Theater video, multichannel audio
, HD, 3D and UHDTV. When HDTV started airing in November 1998, and later followed by 3DTV and 4K UHDTV, he realized that the technology as implemented would overwhelm consumers due to its complexity, and it certainly does even today, and launched his mission of educating and helping consumers understand the complexity, the challenge, and the beauty of the technology pursuing better sound and image, so the public learn to appreciate it not just as another television.