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Technology Innovation Award

Past Award Recipients

2015 Award Recipients

ETRI
This year's NAB Technology Innovation Award goes to the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute in Korea for their demonstration of Layered Division Multiplexing (LDM). LDM is a method of efficiently transmitting multiple broadcast services in a single 6 MHz channel. The demonstration consisted of an ultra-robust upper (or core) layer intended for mobile or indoor service along with a less robust (or enhanced) higher data rate lower layer intended for fixed reception, transmitted in the same spectrum. The lower layer signal can be received by decoding the upper layer and canceling the upper layer from the received signal. LDM has been recommended to be a baseline technology in the physical layer standard of the ATSC 3.0 television system currently under development.

2014 Award Recipients

Ericsson Television Ltd.
This year's NAB Technology Innovation Award goes to Ericsson Television Ltd for demonstration of a live real-time contribution feed of 4K Ultra High Definition Television coming from Europe directly to the NAB Show exhibit floor. While we've seen beautiful 4K consumer television sets in retail showrooms, they will just be high tech furniture until enough 4K content is widely available. The Ericsson demonstration shows a clear path for broadcasters to overcome the first and most important hurdle — acquisition of high quality and truly immersive live 4K content. This demonstration shows the professional industry that it is possible to start building the ecosystem and a library of Ultra HD content now, as broadcasters consider rolling out commercial 4K services in the coming years.

2013 Award Recipients

Cisco Systems, Inc.
Cisco Systems received the 2013 NAB Technology Innovation Award for its Future of Video concept. Future of Video (formerly called Project Fresco) presents a future of television that breaks out of the "box in the corner of the room," showing how television will harness new display technology and an immersive layout engine to become unobtrusive, frameless, ultra high definition and ambient. Future of Video demonstrates that television's future is both collective and personal, and exemplifies a new relationship between large screens and companion devices. Simon Parnall, Director, New Initiatives in Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group, who was instrumental in designing and building the "Future of Video" demo, accepted the award.

2012 Award Recipients

Fraunhofer IIS
The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS performs contract research and development for industry and public authorities. Fraunhofer IIS researchers develop microelectronic systems and devices along with the required integrated circuits and software.

Fraunhofer IIS received a 2012 NAB Technology Innovation Award for its Dialog Enhancement Technology which allows a user to adjust the volume of a program's dialog relative to other soundtrack elements. For example, individual users can adjust to their preference how loud the announcer's voice is over the background ambience in a sporting event broadcast, or how loud actors' voices are compared to the music or sound effects in a movie. The technology was successfully demonstrated in experimental broadcasts of the 2011 Wimbledon Tennis Tournament.

RadioTAG Application Working Group
The second 2012 NAB Technology Innovation Award went to the RadioTAG Application Working Group, a team that has taken the RadioDNS Project's RadioTAG specification and developed an implementation of an open radio tagging protocol. It enables the radio listener to "bookmark" an over-the-air program for later online listening, to flag a song for download or addition to a subscription list, or to sign up for special deals with advertisers – all by simply pushing a button on the radio when the content is heard. The RadioTAG Application Working Group includes participants from Global Radio, Frontier Silicon, and BBC Research & Development.

2011 Award Recipients

Communications Research Centre Canada
The Communications Research Centre (CRC) is the Canadian government's primary laboratory for research and development in advanced telecommunications. The organization received its award for a range of developments it displayed at the 2011 NAB Show, which were also found among this year's International Research Park exhibits.

CRC's demonstrations included its audio loudness metering scheme that has become the basis for the ITU BS.1770 loudness measurement algorithm, along with a proposed system for audio-quality metrics, and a 2D-to-3D video conversion technology generating high-quality 3D video at low cost. CRC also showcased the first FM-RDS radio application that can be distributed through the Android market, which also enables "hybrid" radio broadcasts converging on-air and online radio services. Other exhibits from CRC presented high-quality video frame-rate conversion, software-defined radio for broadcast applications and the COVLAB broadcast coverage prediction system.

NPR Labs
As one of America's few not-for-profit broadcast technology research and development centers, NPR Labs is engaged with technical research projects supporting the interests of U.S. public radio stations. The organization received its award for a range of developments which were also found among this year's International Research Park exhibits at the 2011 NAB Show. NPR Labs presented its results to date on three current projects.

The first was a proposed system for providing "captioned radio" (i.e., the display of text on a radio receiver's screen presenting transcription of the current audio broadcast), for use by the 23 million hearing-impaired Americans unable to directly access live radio programming and emergency alerts. A second exhibit demonstrated a new Personalized Audio Information Service (PAIS), the primary application of which is the capture of over-the-air radio reading-service transmissions and the organization of individual stories for indexed, on-demand playback by blind and low-vision listeners, utilizing HD Radio technology. Finally, NPR Labs presented its advanced IBOC interference propagation mapping application, intended to produce highly accurate coverage maps for HD Radio stations.

2010 Award Recipients

Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology (GT) is one of the United States' top research universities, distinguished by its commitment to improving the human condition through advanced science and technology. GT has developed a hand gesture-based, wireless, touch-free human-TV interface that uses a standard Webcam. At the 2010 NAB Show in Research Park, GT showed the gesture control and also the world's smallest Android set-top, bandwidth-efficient video streaming.

Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute
Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) is Korea's largest government-funded research institute specializing in information and communications technology. In the NAB Show Research Park, ETRI demonstrated technologies that enhance the ATSC DTV system, including Mobile DTV.

2009 Award Recipients

National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT)
NICT is a national telecommunications research organization in Japan. The NAB Show was the first venue outside of Japan where NICT demonstrated some of the advanced imaging and sound technologies being developed in their labs. Working with their partners in the industry, the NICT demonstrations included holographic television, 3D displays without special glasses, 3D television programming being transmitted via broadband from Japan and a multisensory interaction system that explores human interface to communications media.

NHK Science and Technical Research Laboratories
NHK Science and Technical Research Laboratories (STRL) is the research and development arm of NHK, Japan's public broadcaster. Since its establishment in 1930, NHK Labs has been creating new broadcasting systems and devices in pursuit of its mission to research and develop next-generation broadcasting systems. NHK STRL demonstrations at the 2009 NAB Show included an ultra-HDTV theater, with picture resolution 16 times that of HDTV and 22.2 channels of surround sound, and new technologies that reproduce 3D in HDTV and mobile DTV services based on Japan's digital broadcasting system, ISDB-T.