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 Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Charles Peter Sandbank, who was very well known to many in ITU, and was recently elected as Chairman to ITU-T’s Study Group 9 has died aged 77.

Charlie, as he was affectionately known to friends and colleagues, started his long and distinguished career with STC making radio valves and later transistors. During his time here he developed some of the first semiconductor integrated circuits to be produced in Europe. Among his early papers were proposals for the techniques now commonly used in ASICS and the principle of surface mount.

In 1964 he was appointed head of the Electron Devices Laboratory at Standard Telecommunications Laboratories and in 1968 became Manager of the STL Communications Systems Division. While at STL he was responsible for the team which pioneered the use of optical fibres for communications and in 1976 built the world’s first wide band digital optical fibre communications system (140 Mbit/s between Hitchin and Stevenage) installed in BT ducts. He edited one of the first books on the technology of optical fibre communications in which he proposed the optical amplifier as now commonly used in long haul systems.

In 1978 he joined the BBC as head of its Research Department and became BBC Deputy Director of Engineering in 1984. He made personal contributions to the BBC’s work in electronic graphics; the ‘BBC MICRO’ project; HDTV and particularly digital broadcasting. NICAM stereo sound for TV was among the activities which he initiated while he was Head of Research. He played a leading role in the establishment of the technology and world-wide standards for Digital Television (a subject on which he also edited a book). The work he initiated at the BBC contributed to the establishment of the world’s first terrestrial digital radio service in 1997 and TV service in 1998. After leaving the BBC in 1993 he became a Director of Snell and Wilcox Ltd and DTI Broadcasting Technology Adviser.

He was a founder member of the DVB project, the founding Chairman of the ETSI/EBU JTC and founding co-chair of the European Digital Cinema Forum. He was also the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Visiting Professor in the Principles of Information Systems Design at the University of Bradford.

He was elected to the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1983, was also FIET and FInstP. He received Fellowships from the RTS, BKSTS and SMPTE for contributions to broadcast engineering and Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Surrey and Bradford.

In the ITU he participated actively since the late 1970s in ITU-R SG6 (previously SG10 and 11) and in ITU-T SG9 since its formation, acting as a Vice Chairman in the last two study periods before being appointed Chairman at WTSA-08 in Johannesburg. He played a major role in the drafting of the basic Digital TV Recommendation ITU-R Rec. 601, and more recently in the ITU-T network independent middleware Recommendations. He chaired the JRG1 the joint T/R Rapporteur group on middleware and was a co-chair of the joint activity of ITU-T SG9 and ITU-T SG9 on IPTV.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:45:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 12 December 2008
Study Group 2 - Operational aspects of service provision and telecommunications management

Geneva, 24 March - 2 April 2009

Registration Form

See TSB Collective 1/2 for more information.

Study Group 2 Home

Friday, 12 December 2008 16:13:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The first global standard offering an in-home, high-speed network capable of delivering room-to-room HDTV has been agreed by ITU. The standard, published under the banner, promises high quality multimedia over power, coaxial, phone and other home wiring. It will give up to 20 times the throughput of existing wireless technologies and three times that of existing wired technologies.

The specifications will be used by chip manufacturers to build transceivers that can be incorporated into set-top boxes, residential gateways, home computers, home audio systems, DVD players, TVs or any other device that might be connected to a network now or in the future. Experts say that silicon companies will immediately start incorporating the specifications into transceivers, implying that products could be on the market as early as 2010.

Joyce Putscher, Principal Analyst at market research firm In-Stat, said, “Service operators have been looking for an international standard that encompasses multiple existing-wire mediums for video distribution. meets that requirement and it seems clear that with significant industry backing from service providers, semiconductor and equipment vendors, and the fast rate at which the process is moving to achieve a standard, we will see first equipment by 2010.”

“There’s a clear market need for a unified networking approach,” said Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “With, every wire in every home around the world can become part of a home entertainment network. This will enable seamless communication between computers, HDTVs and telephones over existing wires. I expect that this exciting new technology will also foster innovations such as energy efficient smart appliances, home automation and telemedicine devices.”

Work on was started at the instigation of service providers looking to extend broadband and video services in the home. As well as its offer of greater speed, it may be bundled as complementary to Wi-Fi where offers greater coverage, extending, for example, to areas of a house where Wi-Fi does not reach.

The standard has achieved remarkable industry backing even before its publication. An industry group — the HomeGrid Forum — has been formed specifically to back The goal of HomeGrid Forum is to market worldwide and to create a compliance and interoperability programme to ensure that products based on the standard will operate in any home around the world.

Other industry analysts backing the standard include Michael Wolf, Research Director at ABI Research. “If sees integration into carrier devices by 2010, we expect that some 42 million nodes will ship in 2013 in devices such as set-top boxes, residential gateways and other service provider CPE hardware,” Wolf said.

“A single, unified technology for multimedia networks over power lines, coaxial cable, and phone lines has the potential to enable a simple, easy-to-use means of networking devices in the home,” said Kurt Scherf, analyst with market analyst firm Parks Associates. “We believe ITU’s work is an important step towards eliminating fragmentation in the industry and in achieving the vision of a networked home.”

Recommendation ITU-T G.9960 focuses on the physical or PHY layer, giving the data bit rate and quality of service necessary for triple-play residential services as well as business-type services delivered over xDSL, PON, or other access technology. In step with ITU guidelines on new standards development, several power saving modes have been incorporated. Ongoing work is focused on the media access control (MAC) layer.

Friday, 12 December 2008 13:08:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 05 December 2008
Study Group 17 - Security

Geneva, 11 - 20 February 2009

Registration Form

See TSB Collective 1/17 for more information.

Study Group 17 Home

Friday, 05 December 2008 15:36:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 03 December 2008

Study Group 9 - Television and sound transmission and integrated broadband cable networks

Geneva, 2 - 6 February 2009

Registration Form

See TSB Collective 1/9 for more information.

Study Group 09 Home

Wednesday, 03 December 2008 09:45:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 28 November 2008

Study Group 16 - Multimedia coding, systems and applications

Geneva, 27 January- 2 February 2009

Registration Form

See TSB Collective 1/16 for more information.

Study Group 16 Home

Friday, 28 November 2008 09:55:24 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |