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Mark Aitken To Present Keynote Session Of 2016 IEEE Broadcast Symposium

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Mark Aitken, vice president of advanced technology for Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBG), will present during a luncheon keynote session of the 2016 IEEE Broadcast Symposium on Thursday, 13 Oct.

Titled "So You Think You're a 'Televisioner'" Aitken's session will engage the audience in challenging the long-held assumptions of OET69, presenting new insight into broadcasters' opportunities to maintain relevance with services that extend beyond conventional television broadcasting.

A program of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society (BTS), the 2016 IEEE Symposium takes place Oct. 12-14 at the Hartford Marriott Hotel in Hartford, Connecticut.

The annual Symposium has earned a reputation as one of the world's preeminent technical conferences on broadcasting technology, bringing together broadcast engineers from the U.S. and around the world. Presented by a global panel of broadcast engineering experts, the Symposium offers engineering professionals an exciting, timely, and informative three-day program of technical sessions, networking, and knowledge transfer. 

"Spectrum . . . reverse auction . . . forward auction . . . channel of allocations . . . repack. These are familiar terms for many of us, but there's a resounding question that we should all be asking our company leadership, right now: 'So what are we doing when we restart broadcasting with NextGen?'" Aitken said.

"In this session, we will explore the new tools and assumptions that begin to shape an understanding of the QoS realities for NextGen broadcasting, the impact that has on business assumptions, and the humorous perspectives I've gained after enjoying a career of 40-plus years."

Aitken joined SBG in 1999, and has served as the company's vice president of advanced technology since 2011. There, he represents the company's interests in industry regulatory, technical, and standards issues, as well as future broadcast standards efforts, and he represents Sinclair within industry-related organizations. Prior to joining SBG, Aitken held several positions at COMARK

Communication, including manager of the company's Systems Engineering, RF Engineering, and Sales Engineering groups, as well as director of marketing and sales support, which included DTV strategic planning responsibilities. 

Aitken is a member of the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers (AFCCE), the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). He has authored many papers dealing with innovative RF product developments and advanced digital broadcast systems design and implementation strategies, and he holds patents for various RF devices and NextGen systems. In addition, Aitken is a recipient of the 2008 Broadcasting and Cable Technology Leadership Award and a 2013 recipient of the ATSC Bernard Lechner Outstanding Contributor Award. Most recently, he founded ONE Media, a technology joint venture focused on development of NextGen communications technologies, a proponent within current ATSC TG3 (ATSC 3.0) standardization.

William T. Hayes, president of IEEE BTS and director of engineering and technology for Iowa Public Television, said: "Mark is one of the bright stars and leading visionaries in our industry, and the fact that someone so highly accomplished has agreed to address the Symposium is one more example of the high level of our content.

"While at COMARK, he was part of an Emmy Award-winning team that revolutionized the broadcast industry by bringing IOT technology to the marketplace. And as an active participant in the ATSC, Mark has been involved in the broadcast industry's migration to advanced services since 1987. He's also a member of the NAB TV Technology Committee, focused on the broader technical issues of our industry."

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