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Digutal HDTV Grand Alliance mebers
Digutal HDTV Grand Alliance mebers

Grand Alliance Technical Leaders Complete System Integration at Sarnoff's Field Lab - Mar 30, 1995

Wayne Luplow (Zenith), Glenn Reitmeier (Sarnoff), 

Bob Rast (GI),  Terry Smith (Sarnoff)

Ralph Cerbone (AT&T), Jae Lim (MIT), Aldo Cugnini (Philips)


Grand Alliance HDTV compared to analog NTSC transmission

After three years of competition among four digital HDTV systems proposals, the seven organizations came together to form the Digital HDTV Grand Alliance on May 24, 1993.

There were many skeptics who doubted that the radical concept of digital television was viable. 


Many doubted that competitors could successfully collaborate to design and construct a system.


Many doubted that a collaborative system could truly be "the best of the best" and superior to the predecessor systems in every category of rigorous testing. 


Many doubted that the FCC would approve the system after opposition by large computer industry companies.

The organizations and individuals of the Digital HDTV Grand Alliance collaborated as a highly motivated team and overcame all of these obstacles.  The efforts of the Grand Alliance culminated in the ATSC digital television standard  and its approval by the FCC on Dec 24, 1996.

ATSC receiver sales began in 1998.  Defying many predictions, consumer adoption of HDTV was significantly faster than that of the NTSC color television system.  The analog NTSC system was shut down in 2009.

The Grand Alliance ATSC standard was the world's first digital television standard.  Its impact has been enormous.  Virtually all of today's broadcast, digital cable and satellite television and internet video streaming is based on or has technology roots that can be traced to the Grand Alliance and its predecessor systems.

While several books and numerous articles have been written on the development of HDTV, this site documents details of the four original digital systems and the collective work of the Grand Alliance with original documents, photographs, videos and links to significant industry references.  Follow each tab for a complete perspective on the history of the Grand Alliance and its subsequent adoption and impact.

- Glenn Reitmeier

  Aug. 2018

Grand Alliance Leaders Celebrate FCC Approval


Standing:  Alan Schlosser, Wayne Luplow (Zenith), John Mailhot (AT&T), Terry Smith (Sarnoff), Bill Beyers (Thomson), Ralph Cerbone (AT&T), Peter Bingham (Philips), Susa Meyer (GI), Jim Carnes (Sarnoff), Bruce Allan (Thomson), John Taylor (Zenith), Tom Patton (Philips), Woo Paik (GI), Frank McCann (Thomson), Bob Rast (GI), Jerry Perlman (Zenith), Jae Lim (MIT)

Seated: Robert Graves (AT&T), Joe Donahue (Thomson), Richard Wiley (ACATS), Glenn Reitmeier (Sarnoff), Carlo Basile (Philips), Aldo Cugnini (Philips)

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