Dr. Woo Paik, President and Chief Technology Officer of LG Electronics Inc., has received the highest technical honor bestowed on an individual by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences -- the Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award.
The Academy honored Paik as the "Father of Digital TV" during the 2008 Primetime Emmy Engineering Awards ceremony Saturday night at the Renaissance Hotel in Los Angeles. The Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award honors a living individual whose contributions over a long period of time have significantly affected the state of television technology and engineering.
Paik's specific technological contributions cited by the Academy include invention of the digital video compression technology adopted by the Digital HDTV Grand Alliance, his leadership in the development of DigiCipher, the digital compression technology that is the basis for digital TV broadcasting, and his role in the development of VideoCipher, the de facto standard for distribution of scrambled cable channels over satellite. Paik's leadership has established LG Electronics as a global technology powerhouse and innovator in digital TV standards, including the new mobile/handheld DTV broadcast system now being standardized.
In his acceptance remarks, delivered in high-definition from Seoul, Paik reminisced about the "fast and furious" early days of digital TV developments. "Really important was our willingness to take risks, to develop all-digital systems while others continued work on analog or hybrid systems." Putting history in perspective, Paik concluded: "I suppose you all enjoyed the wonderful picture and sound quality of the Olympics in digital HDTV. I feel great every time I watch HDTV and think about what we were able to achieve together." His wife, Kwang, attended the event in person to receive his special Emmy.
The 2008 Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award is the latest in a long list of accolades honoring Paik's contributions to digital TV. In 2004, he was inducted into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame and the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers. He received the Digital Television Pioneers Award from Broadcasting & Cable Magazine in 2000, the Arthur C. Clark Award from the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association in 1999, an Engineering Emmy for his outstanding digital television achievements in 1996 and the Matti S. Siukola Memorial Award from the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society in 1991.
During his tenure at LG Electronics, Paik has been involved with virtually all of the company's core technologies, products and business ventures and is responsible for technology innovation in LG's four core business areas, Digital Displays, Digital Media, Mobile Communications and Digital Appliances. Paik is the Chief Technology Officer overseeing 10 R&D institutes and more than 15,000 engineers worldwide. He joined LG in 1998 as President and CTO, a position he held for seven years. From 2004-2007, he served as LG's chief technology adviser, based in the United States; he returned to LG headquarters in Seoul as President and CTO in January 2008.
Prior to joining LG Electronics, Paik was Exec VP, Technology for the General Instrument Communications Division (now the broadband division of Motorola). He led the Advanced Development team that vaulted General Instrument to the forefront of digital TV technology. His team developed the DigiCipher HDTV system, the world's first all-digital HDTV system, in 1990. He later worked as a key member of the Digital HDTV Grand Alliance Technical Oversight Group and various Technical Specialist Groups that developed the U.S. HDTV broadcast standard. He also applied the DigiCipher technology for the multichannel NTSC system, now deployed in U.S. satellite and digital cable systems.
After joining M/A-COM-Linkabit in 1978, Paik later moved to General Instrument as a founder of the VideoCipher Division. He is one of the key inventors of the VideoCipher II system that became the de facto standard for the C-Band satellite video encryption system and is still in use by most cable programmers. He held various senior management positions at General Instrument before being named Executive VP. He also briefly served as SVP, Technology, for Qualcomm Inc. prior to joining LG Electronics.
Paik earned his doctorate in electrical and electronics engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his masters and bachelors in engineering degrees from Seoul National University. He is the author of numerous technical papers and co-inventor of more than 25 inventions earning U.S. Patents in the area of digital video compression, digital transmission, and digital signal processing.