A pioneering broadcast engineer and digital TV innovator known for stints at such companies as Tektronix and the Advanced Television Test Center (ATTC), which closed in September 2003, has passed away.
Charles W. “Charlie” Rhodes, who received the 1996 NAB TV Engineering Achievement Award, died Tuesday (3/20) after suffering a severe hip fracture on March 14. He was 88 years old.
In a statement released from Capitol Hill, where he is monitoring Congressional action on an omnibus bill that just passed in the House of Representatives with a 256-167 vote, NAB EVP/Communications Dennis Wharton said, “NAB is mourning the loss of one of television’s great engineers. Charlie had a tremendous role in leading the transition from the analog system of the 1950s to the digital television system we know today. NAB has continued to support his important work on spectrum sharing as television moves towards the Next Generation.”
Rhodes was chief scientist of the ATTC from 1988 through 1995.
He first became known for his many years at Tektronix. He started at the company in 1956 and exited in 1982, as chief engineer of the Television Engineering Division. The RFA 300 8VSB measurement set is largely thanks to Rhodes’ efforts.
Rhodes also worked for Scientific Atlanta and Philips Laboratories during the 1980s.