SMPTE 2017: Ross Video’s Phil Bennett Will Receive David Sarnoff Medal

Ross Video is pleased to announce that Phil Bennett, co-founder of Abekas, which was acquired by Ross Video last year, will be awarded the SMPTE David Sarnoff Medal. Each year, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) recognizes one individual with the David Sarnoff Medal for the contributions they have made to the development of new techniques or equipment that have improved the engineering phases of television technology, including large-venue presentations.

This year, SMPTE will present the award to Phil Bennett in recognition of his significant contributions to the broadcast industry with his work in video effects, still stores, and digital standards conversion during the dawning of the digital video era. Over the years, Bennett has developed many products for broadcasters, including the very Ampex Digital Optics (ADO) digital video effects system and one of the very early digital disk recorders.

“This award is a huge honor for Phil, and it truly recognizes his impact on the industry,” says Junaid Sheikh, CEO of Abekas. “I am very proud of him, and proud to have worked with him throughout all of these years. Congratulations Phil, you deserve this recognition.”

Bennett started his career with Quantel, developing the first generation of digital products that began the industry transition from analog to digital, including frame synchronizers and digital standards converters. Later at Ampex, Bennett led the development of the 1983 Emmy winning ADO Digital effects system, which changed television content with digital special effects and video image rotation and perspective control. Bennett co-founded Abekas in 1982, where he led the development of still stores, digital effects systems, and production switchers.

His A62 disk recorder introduced lossless real time digital layering and was recognized with an Emmy Award in 1986.  Also at Abekas, Bennett and team developed the A84, a practical digital production switcher without the timing and quality problems of analog predecessors, which won an Emmy in 1990. Under his guidance, the Abekas team also introduced the Mira server line for production playout and instant replay, finalizing the transition from analog tape based systems to the all-digital platforms used today.

Phil Bennett’s list of accomplishments will be celebrated on Thursday, October 26 in Hollywood, CA, when he formally accepts the David Sarnoff Medal at the SMPTE Annual Awards Gala, which is part of the SMPTE 2017 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2017).

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