San Diego – The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) honored
the 11 members of the CE Hall of Fame class of 2011 during a dinner and awards
ceremonies at the CE Industry Forum, here, Tuesday night.
Eight of the 2011 class were in attendance and all had
personal comments about their careers to make this, as usual, one of the best
events on the CE industry calendar every year.
The award winners and some of their acceptance comments are
who developed the Brown Box and the Magnavox Odyssey interactive TV/video gaming
systems, said he is still active in the toy and related industries and is still
getting licensing fees;
who invented flash memory while at Toshiba and also
developed SAMOS memory;
who was working at Xerox PARC in 1973 when he
co-invented Ethernet — a standard for connecting computers over short
(1916-2001), who is credited with founding both
digital computer and digital circuit design theory in 1937; and
, who invented the Viterbi algorithm used for decoding
encoded data that is used in cellphones for error correcting codes, as well as
for speech recognition, DNA analysis and other applications. Viterbi spoke
mostly about Shannon, saying in effect, based on his work, he wouldn’t be here.
Master of ceremonies Gary Shapiro, CEA’s president/CEO, remarked about
Viterbi’s gracious and humble speech.
was co-founder and former CEO of SanDisk, which invented or co-developed many
of the standard memory card formats used in CE products ranging from digital
cameras to smartphones. He remarked that the 50,000 times cost reduction of
flash memory over 20 years would be like “a $2,500 1991 computer costing 5
cents now.” And he added when SanDisk stared it had “a costly technology, no
market… but we had a vision. Finally 25 years later it exceeded our wildest
whose company, Hubbard Broadcasting, started U.S.
Satellite Broadcasting (USSB) in 1981, was instrumental in the development and
launching of the first digital satellite system for television in 1994. Hubbard
thanked his family, said he “never expected to be in a Hall of Fame with Thomas
Edison,” and remembered the days when DBS meant to some “Don’t Be Stupid.”
was founder and CEO of Runco International, the first company to introduce a
line doubler with a multi-frequency projector in 1990 as well as the first
multiple-aspect-ratio controller, the ARC-IV, to the high-end home theater
market. Runco said he was, “Happy to be honored while I’m still alive!” And
noted he was happy to live long enough to “see the fruit of our labors,” HDTV.
founded Tweeter, the specialty consumer electronics
retail chain that marketed high-end electronics products. He talked about the
early days of the chain in the 1960s where people came in, bought audio
equipment, “loved music, brought it home, probably got stoned and played it
To which Shapiro retorted, “Thank you for explaining why we
call [the category] high-end audio.”
The team of
worked together at Berger Braithwaite
Labs/Video Magazine (Sound & Vision Magazine) and wrote extensive product
reviews. Berger, an audio expert, and Braithwaite, a video analyst, put their
bylines together back in 1979 at the suggestion of Berger, “which was the best
idea I ever had” and the arguments he originally had with Braithwaite were good
ones because, “both of us learned something” about each other’s views and
expertise. Braithwaite, son of a lawyer and the more technical type, said he
found out in the early years he didn’t have to write like a lawyer, but had to
explain in simple, straightforward terms how equipment worked and what value it
might be for consumers.