Press release

New IET President explores digital TV compression at inaugural address

08 October 2018

The new President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) will explore the hidden technology behind digital TV compression which has had a massive impact on the way society consumes media at his President’s Address on Thursday 11 October, 6.30pm, at IET London: Savoy Place.

Mike Carr OBE, became the 148th President of the IET on 1 October 2018 and his President’s Address will mark his first official engagement.

The presentation, which has rarely been covered in detail before, will reveal the evolution of video compression engineering from its beginnings 50 years ago. This technology is everywhere from smart phones, TV sets to doorbells. He will also examine how this technology could evolve in future.

Mike said: “Most young people today take for granted the instant access they have to hundreds of high resolution TV channels, the millions of YouTube videos that can be accessed via your phone and films they can store on a single memory stick.

“Technology is changing rapidly; it’s now 50 years since the very first experiments in digital video compression and there are a vast range of techniques that have been explored, improved and in many cases discarded.

“As with most areas of engineering, improved understanding in combination with increased technical capability has enabled a progression of significant improvements. It’s exciting to think what the next 50 years of digital compression will look like and the vital role of engineers and technologists in enabling ideas and creating products and services to transform the way we watch video.”

Mike’s early career focused on the research, development and design of real-time audio visual and multimedia communications systems championing technological innovation. Until November 2008, Mike was BT’s Chief Science Officer responsible for the company’s world-leading Research Labs and Commercial Exploitation Unit.

Mike has been a Council Member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), a Board member of Innovate UK and a previous Vice President of the IET. He received an OBE in 2017 for “services to innovation” and currently serves as a Non-Executive Director of Ordnance Survey and for Ploughshare Innovations Ltd.

The IET President’s inaugural address ‘Digital TV Compression: A story of unseen Engineering’ will also be available to watch via IET TV.

Mike Carr OBE succeeds Nick Winser CBE as President of the IET for 2018/19.

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