Goldmark, Péter Károly

(Budapest, December 6th, 1906 – Port Chester, NY, USA, December 7th, 1977)

An engineer and physicist of Hungarian origin. Inventor of the LP and EVR video system and member of the team that developed NTSC colour television standard.

Goldmark was proud of his famous Hungarian relatives, among others, of his uncle, Károly Goldmark, the famous composer; he adopted his second given name in his honour.

In 1920, he enrolled at the Technical University of ViennaWeb link and here he obtained a degree in engineering and then one in physics in Berlin. After that he went to the Technical College of CharlottenburgWeb link where he was fellow worker of Denis Gábor. He returned to Vienna, where he worked with Professor Ernst Mach and attained a Ph.D. in physics at the Academy of Sciences in Vienna.Web link

Following the experiments carried out by BBC, Goldmark put together a device, on the very small screen (2.5x3.8 cm) of which he succeeded in producing a picture. This device was, so to say, the precursor of the television set developed later. This was a real success, and as a consequence of which the English Pye Company employed Goldmark.

In 1935, he was a research worker at the communications company Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) in New York, and later the head of the research laboratory and then Director of the company and Vice-President (1950), and at last he became the President of CBS Laboratories. At CBS he began to deal with electronic – cathode ray tube - television sets within a short time. After long experiments, in 1940, he presented his invention with the transmission of colour motion pictures of flowers and sea scenes. This was already a colour television that could be used in practice.

In 1948, CBS developed the long-playing microgroove recording system under his direction. In fact, the new record meant that it succeeded in recording the sound programs of 6 old records of 78 rpm on one single disc of 33 1/3 rpm. Far later, in the middle of the 1950's, the CBS laboratory directed by him developed an ultramicrogroove record that could be installed in an automobile.

Goldmark improved his switched-colour colour television system based on the rotation of a triangular disk and in 1950, the marketing of Goldmark's colour televisions was approved.

Although Goldmark's television was replaced by an entirely electronic solution within a short time, his system was applied for closed circuit television in several places: in industry, in medical institutes and in education, because its colour camera was smaller, lighter and easier to operate than those applied in commercial use.

The development of a scanning system is linked to Goldmark's name by means of which pictures shot from the moon by the Orbiter spaceship launched in 1966 in the United States of America could be transmitted. He created the predecessor of the video tape recorder by developing the so-called EVR system (Electronic Video Recording).

Membership: National Academy of Engineering (1966)

Honours: IEEE Morris Liebmann Memorial Prize for electronic research (1946), Television Broadcasters Association Medal (1954), V.K. Zvorykin Television Prize (1961), National Medal of Science (1977).