Donald Schmitt Dies -- Responsible for the U.S. Senate's Groundbreaking HD TV Facility

US Senate was one of the first to go HD
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Don Schmitt

On Dec. 12, Donald Schmitt died in St. James, N.C. Schmitt was the owner of Chantilly, Va.-based TGS, a government contractor that was the organization that designed and built the U.S. Senate's high-definition television facility.

Completed on Sept. 4, 2001 (just a week before the 9/11 terrorist attacks), the U.S. Senate facility is believed to be the world's first HD system for a legislative body. (By comparison, the U.K. House of Commons still has a standard-definition internal television system.) Back in 2001, HD gear was both expensive and somewhat controversial, but its ultimate value to the Senate and U.S. government has been proven since then. Guiding the Senate's conversion from analog SD to digital HD, TGS and Schmitt also trained operators and assisted the Senate TV facility with additional upgrades and moves.

For more about the life and funeral of Don Schmitt, please read this article from the Wilmington, N.C., Port City Daily:

Donald Schmitt, developed US Senate broadcast TV’s technology, equipment

A U.S. Army veteran and avid car fanatic, Schmitt enjoyed driving his Corvette and playing golf. He was an authority on the proper treatment of the American flag.