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Philip J. Cianci

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Technical Writing for the Media Industry
Techno-Artifacts HDTV Inspired Art
Algorithmic Music Compositions
Media History and Technology Books

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Subjects: SMPTE, HDTV

Philip J. Cianci began his involvement with television at the age of 11, when under the tutelage of his father, a radio technician in WWII, the two installed a high-gain antenna on the roof of their apartment building in Harrison, New York, aimed it toward Connecticut, and watched blacked-out New York Football Giants home games in the comfort their living room.

He pursued artistic expression in sight, sound and story during his 20s. In fact, it was his experiments at that time with audio electronics in the design of unique sounds and effects that led him back to a career in technology. A stint in avionics, working on F/A-18 Hornet electro-mechanical prototype and production-standard instrument panels, was followed at Honeywell by an ascent from the test bench to the New Product Development Lab supporting the design and production of operating room certified cardiovascular diagnostic equipment, launching his career in technology engineering.

Mr. Cianci’s involvement in HDTV began at Philips Research in the mid-1980s as a design team member, where he participated in the development of Advanced Television Systems, culminating in the Grand Alliance Digital HDTV Transmission System prototype that was the basis of the FCC DTV Transmission Regulations and documented in the ATSC DTV standard. In 2002, he segued to broadcast operations and completed his initiation on the overnight shift at the AT&T Digital Media Center in Manhattan. At ESPN he was a member of one of the earliest IT for Broadcast engineering departments during the construction and commissioning of the all-HD Digital Center, considered by many as a key facilitator of the consumer adoption of HDTV with the debut of SportsCenter in 720p HD in 2004. He was a Design Engineer at Communications Engineering, Inc. (CEI) and a Relationship Manager at AMC Networks.

His first article for Broadcast Engineering magazine was published in 2003, and he was the original editor of the publication’s "Transition to Digital" e-Newsletter from 2005 through 2007 that, with a subscriber base of 50,000, helped garner "Best of the Web" min awards for the magazines’ online offerings. He has written two Focal Press books, “HDTV and the Transition to Digital Broadcasting,” 2007, and “Technology and Workflows for Multiple Channel Content Distribution: Infrastructure Implementation Strategies for Converged Production,” 2009. “High Definition Television - The Creation, Development and Implementation of HDTV Technology,” was published by McFarland in 2013.

Since 2002, Mr. Cianci has been collaborating in the development of an HDTV archive with the Smithsonian Institution. He joined SMPTE in 2002, and serves on the Board of Editors of the SMPTE Journal and also the International Journal of Digital Television. His work for SMPTE on a Centenary Commemorative book began in spring of 2014, and subsequently evolved to a 3-book series.

Mr. Cianci resides in metropolitan New York City. Throughout his technical career, he has continued his visual and musical creative experiments. He has developed a software algorithmic compositional aide, and released two albums of experimental music.  As a multi-media artist, he has documented many HDTV moments in works of art that have been exhibited at galleries in New York and California. At his Frog Hill Creative Sanctuary in Lake Peekskill, he is working towards the algorithmic integration of visual and aural modes of expression using materials gathered over his technical career.  He spends as much time as possible on the golf course.