Professor Mark Krivocheev, Chief Scientist at the Radio Research and Development Institute (NIIR), Moscow, Russian Federation and Honorary Chairman of ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) Study Group 6 (Broadcasting service) was honored in a ceremony at ITU headquarters in Geneva on 30 October 2012.
Professor Krivocheev – the doyen of television standards – who also celebrated his 90th birthday on 30 July 2012, delivered a lecture titled 40 years of digital television broadcasting studies in ITU-R.
The captivating speech highlighted progress from the primary development of digital to new approaches and strategies which look at the possibilities of harnessing digital TV for social and economic development, as a key component of tomorrow’s Knowledge society.
ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun Touré – who was lectured and mentored by Professor Krivocheev while completing his PhD in Moscow – talked passionately about the profound impact that Professor Krivocheev’s work not only had on ITU, but on him personally.
Throughout a long and successful career spanning over four decades, Professor Krivocheev pioneered the technical development of digital television.
In 1970, he was elected Vice-Chairman of CCIR Study Group 11 (television broadcasting) and in 1972 was nominated Acting Chairman of the same study group.
He remained the highly respected leader of Study Group 11 for 30 years, until the re-organization of ITU-R study groups in 2000, which resulted in the merger of the former CCIR Study Group 10 (Sound broadcasting) and Study Group 11 (Television broadcasting) into ITU-R Study Group 6 (Broadcasting service).
Professor Krivocheev is also recognized as the father of the now famous Recommendation ITU-R BT.601, which defined a unique studio format for digital television on the basis of a universal clock frequency of 13.5 MHz.
The worldwide adoption of this standard for digital television overcame the problems caused by the diversity of incompatible analogue television standards (NTSC, PAL and SECAM).
In recognition of this ground-breaking agreement, the United States National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded ITU its first Technical and Scientific Emmy award in 1983 for the development of Recommendation BT.601.
In total, under Professor Krivocheev’s chairmanship, more than 150 Recommendations have been successfully developed.
Professor Krivocheev’s work has also been paramount in recognizing that digital television broadcasting was an essential component for the transformation processes that would be needed to move into the information society. His work has been crucial on interactivity and on the convergence of broadcasting and broadband services.
The sprightly 90 year old Professor still is an active member of ITU-R Study Group 6. His advice and mentorship remains invaluable to ITU.
At the end of the lecture, ITU was awarded a plaque by David Wood – a representative of the World Broadcasting Union (WBU) – commemorating 40 years of achievement in digital television, signed by 21 leading organizations in the domain of broadcasting.