Dr. Arun Netravali

Awarded the Marconi Prize in 2017, in Summit, New Jersey

Cited “For leadership and technical contributions to digital video systems and services.”

Dr. Netravali is a former President of Bell Labs (now Nokia Bell Labs) and leader of pioneering work on video compression standards that served as the key base technology for MPEG 1, 2 and 4 and enabled a wide range of video services including digital TV, HDTV, and streaming video. The technology ushered in a digital video revolution and is used in most TV sets and all mobile phones today. Dr. Netravali helped launch video coding and compression research in the early 1980s and HDTV and video networking in the early 1990s. Dr. Netravali convinced the organization to undertake big system initiatives like HDTV and Softswitch, and his research team proved the viability of HDTV, resulting in the first commercially viable HDTV system.

Dr. Netravali, a native of India, earned his electrical engineering degree at Indian Institute of Technology and a PhD at Rice University, and then joined Bell Labs. His work on video led to the first iterative algorithm to estimate motion of objects on a TV screen. He now holds 100 patents in the areas of computer networks, human interfaces to machines, picture processing and digital television. His many awards include the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, the IEEE Frederik Philips Award, the IEEE Jack S. Kilby Signal Processing Medal, the NEC C&C Prize, and the Padma Bhushan Award from the President of India. He also received an Emmy for the HDTV Grand Alliance in 1994, and in 2001 he received the National Medal of Technology from President Bush.