John Henry Wheeler (born 1957 in Bristol, Tennessee) is an audio/video engineer, computer programmer, and developer of the Penteo surround-sound process.
A teenager in the 1970s and 80s, John worked as a recording engineer on Country and Gospel records in his home state of Tennessee. In addition, the studio operated its own phonograph record manufacturing plant, where John helped to maintain the record presses, boilers, and associated manufacturing equipment.
John became a producer at Dallas-based TM Productions, where he co-produced radio station jingles and needle drop production libraries.
In 1985, he was hired as an audio engineer and music editor for Turner Production (TBS/CNN) in Atlanta, for the development of their stereo television efforts, and developed many techniques for live multi-location television remotes for "The Jason Project" and the original 1986 "Goodwill Games" from Moscow. As a music editor, John needle drop scored several episodes of "World of Audubon" and Jacques Cousteau specials, and was responsible for editing most of the original theme music which appeared on CNN from 1985 until 1990.
In 1988, while at TBS, he won an audio engineering Emmy award for a promotion for the American version of "Letters from a Dead Man", a motion picture which Ted Turner purchased from Soviet Television for air in the U.S. on Turner Broadcasting.
As a hobby, John was a C language programmer in MS-DOS and Unix, and became a database normalization design hobbyist. After Ted Turner's purchase of MGM in 1987, John developed a networked film library database system for Turner/MGM between operations in Culver City and Atlanta, using the tools of Informix Software on an SCO Xenix platform. In 1990, he was recruited to the San Francisco Bay Area as a technical services consultant for Informix. Working for Informix, he spent three years developing one of the country's first real-time stock options trading systems at Group One in San Francisco, in 1991 linking their floor traders in Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia and San Francisco using AppleTalk tunnelling through internet protocol via uunet to tie together local networks. At the time, the Internet was built primarily on the NSFNET; John asked for and received special permission to use the Internet for research use.
In the 1990s, he was hired by Skywalker Sound president Tom Kobayashi in the role of Core Network Architect for Entertainment Digital Network (EDnet), first based at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California and worked as the personal installer of a private real-time digital audio network linking Skywalker with Capitol Records studios, Sony Music studios, 20th Century Fox studios, A&M Records, and the home studios of Mariah Carey/Tommy Mottola, Robert Zemeckis, Phil Ramone, Walter Afanasieff, and Gloria Estefan for digital audio internetworking. He also co-engineered the telecommunications links for Phil Ramone for the Frank Sinatra "Duets" series.
After departing EDnet, John spent two years as a field sound technician on the TV show COPS, traveling across the US to shadow police officers for the show with a shotgun microphone. In 2000, John joined NBC Universal as a television engineer.