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Dave Sparks

TV Engineer
15 March 1944 to 14 January 2022

A British television engineer, whose career took him from EMI and Thames Television to Sky. He joined Sky Television in 1988, two years before its merger with British Satellite Broadcasting to form BSkyB, where he oversaw the technical launch of Sky News in 1989 and later, after his promotion to chief engineer in 1992, Sky Digital in 1998. Sparks was instrumental in revolutionising how television programmes were compiled and played to air in multi-channel broadcast systems, developing the digital compression technology that reduced transmission costs. In 2005, the Royal Television Society presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award at its Innovation Awards.