Archive for May, 2008

Daily Blog – Sumit Chawla – May 23, 2008: A NEW HD DVD UPDATE DISC 3.0 FROM TOSHIBA.

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Last week I was surprised to find a firmware update CD in my mailbox from Toshiba.  This firmware was for their for their first generation HD DVD hardware platform and was said to address handshake issues with some display devices and improve playback of some titles.

I have hung on to my HD-A1 and it still gets an occasional spin.  The player’s firmware has gone through several updates since I first bought it, and it will receive this update at some point.  Yes, I wish that none of this was necessary and that the platform was stable from the very beginning, but  . . . still, kudos to Toshiba for bowing out respectfully and continuing to support their customers, mostly early adopters, who invested in HD DVD, a format that is now gone.

Daily Blog – Ross Jones – May 22, 2008: SUPER-DUPER HD

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

There have been recent announcements touting new displays capable of resolutions far in excess of 1080p. While there are some 4K products currently available (such as commercial-style projectors), it’s a little tough to wrap my mind around a consumer display with that many pixels. For one thing, the content delivered over existing broadcast methods (cable, satellite, over-the-air) maxes out at 1080i, and at best is sent at 15-17 mbps (and often much less than that). Imagine the bandwidth requirements to stream a 4K film through cable or satellite.

Blu-ray provides 1080p content, but it is a new technology that is struggling to get a toehold in the marketplace, when plain old DVD is just fine with many viewers. Then there’s the issue of recording content available at those higher resolutions. The cost of cameras capable of recording mega-ultra-jumbo HD is enough to give TV networks ulcers. Plus, I doubt we’ll be seeing displays with those resolutions at Wal-Mart anytime in the near future.

I’m impressed with the engineering skill involved in creating beyond-HD technology. Hopefully, the research will lead to advances in providing high quality 1080p HD via existing distribution methods. But I won’t be holding off on my next purchase waiting for a 4K television.

Finn Appointed Training Manager for Velodyne Acoustics

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Morgan Hill, CA (May 20, 2008) — Velodyne Acoustics, Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of powered subwoofers for home-theater and consumer audio, recently appointed Joe Finn to the position of training manager. In this newly created position, Finn will develop sales training programs and technical documentation to support Velodyne’s complete line of subwoofers. (more…)

MilesTek Publishes New, Fully Updated, Enhanced, Solution-Packed Master Catalog

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Essential Full-Color A/V and Installation Product Guide Delivers Commercial And Residential Expertise, Selection and Service in Print and on CD-ROM

INFOCOMM ’08, LAS VEGAS, May 20, 2008 — MilesTek, a global distributor delivering a vast range of networking and A/V integration products, has announced the publication of a new and expanded full-color Master Catalog, as well as a computer-ready version on CD-ROM. Both are available at INFOCOMM International 2008, the annual convention of the International Communications Industries Association, beginning here today. (more…)

Daily Blog – Adrian Wittenberg – May 20, 2008: MOTION COMPENSATE THIS.

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Some of the newer LCD HDTVs that are available in today’s marketplace feature a technology that attempts to make motion appear more fluid by creating interpolated frames between the original frames, thereby increasing the amount of positions a moving image is displayed.  It’s designed to compensate for an LCD panel’s sample and hold technology which has perceptual motion blur issues.  (For more discussion about this, check out the interesting interview of Marvell’s Dr.  Nikhil Balram by our Editor in Chief John Johnson.)  When watching a movie filmed at 24 fps with this technology active though, the motion often looks a little too realistic at 72 fps, decreasing the film effect and creating a presentation that some describe as looking much like that of a live TV program. 

Although it can make film material look strange, one media source that does benefit from motion compensation technolgies is video games.  Many video games, especially first person shooters, are designed to max out the displayed frame rate. However, the game console’s hardware parameters usually limit this to about thirty frames per second.  Frame interpolation technologies of newer television sets can effectively double that frame rate.

Character model animation looks especially good using this technology because the added frames give the characters movement that appears natural and less herky gerky as the number of positions the character is displayed in the animation sequence is increased.  In games such as the mega popular Halo 3 for the Xbox 360, which feature highly detailed graphics, the effect can look stunning, as the imagery is already hyper-realistic, and the smoothness added to the animation makes the game world look that much more intense. 

Daily Blog – John E. Johnson, Jr. – May 19, 2008: SOFTWARE UPDATES ARE SLOWING DOWN.

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Have you noticed that a lot of software updates have slowed down, even coming to a halt?

This may not be occurring in every category, but it sure is in the image and video editing arena.

I used to see updates at least once a year. Now I am sitting on the same versions that I was last year, some even longer than that.

I suspect we are coming to a stage where software that has been around for a long time, just cannot be improved in ways that warrant an “Update” or “New Version”. The features that we need have been there for the last few versions. There is nowhere left to go.

I think this is a good thing. With every update, comes the bugs.

So, for once, I can sit back and just use the program. The bugs were fixed last year. So, now, everything is working, and working well. I mentioned that I built a new editing station computer a few weeks ago (with Sandy Bird’s definitive skill involved). The only thing that changed was the video editing speed. And that was compared to a computer that was five years old.

Finally, finally, we are reaching a plateau with no more high walls to scale. Maybe now we can focus on getting some work done instead of trudging through a learning curve.

Sooloos Selects Caster Communications as its Public Relations Agency

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Contact: Caster Communications, Inc. at 401.792.7080


New York – May 15, 2008 – Sooloos LLC, the leader in premium digital media systems for the home, has signed Caster Communications, Inc., as its agency of record for all public relations activities. Caster will implement a national campaign to generate awareness of Sooloos’ home entertainment products, activities and philosophies. (more…)

Daily Blog – Ross Jones – May 15, 2008: WHY WATCH TV ON A 2.5 INCH SCREEN?

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Am I the only one who thinks that downloading video for viewing on a PDA-sized screen is an utter waste of storage and eyesight? The amount of content available for download to iPod or other PDA (films, TV shows, etc.) has increased dramatically, with more on the way every day. So presumably smart companies think there is a big market for content delivered onto a 2.5 inch low-rez screen (3.5 inches wide on an iPod touch).

Sorry, I just don’t get it. I understand why road warriors like business travelers might want portable video to while away the hours in the airport, but most of those folks are traveling with laptops anyways. I pack a portable DVD player (with an 8.5 inch screen) when I fly and bring along a new Netflix rental or two, just to pass the time. But that’s different than paying money for a movie or TV show, with the specific intention of watching it on a tiny screen.

I suppose that I’m several decades beyond the prime demographic target, which might explain my lack of enthusiasm. Maybe for the generations used to watching video on YouTube and other websites in a three-inch window, portability is a big selling point. I have no problem with music-on-the-go, especially when encoded with a lossless codec. But I could not watch an entire feature film on a PDA sized screen. I guess size does matter, after all.

MilesTek: New Solid-Core RGB Cable, Digital Video Cable, Connectors, Tools & Kits

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

MilesTek Introduces New Solid-Core RGB Cable, Digital Video Cable, Connectors, Tools and Kits

User-Friendly New 25 and 23 AWG Cables and Accessories Provide Essential Solutions for A/V Professionals; New Pricing Guide Details All Options

INFOCOMM ’08, LAS VEGAS, May 14, 2008 — MilesTek, a global distributor delivering a vast range of networking and A/V integration products, introduces a variety of new cables, connectors and accessories at INFOCOMM International 2008, the annual convention of the International Communications Industries Association, beginning in June. (more…)

RTI Expands Distribution into Southeast Asia

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Control System Manufacturer to Offer Distribution into Southeast Asia through International Partner, RTI Controls Australasia

SHAKOPEE, Minn.—May 14, 2008—Remote Technologies Inc. (RTI), the leading control systems manufacturer, has announced its exclusive Australian and New Zealand distributor, RTI Controls Australasia (RTICA), has expanded distribution into Southeast Asia. RTI Controls Australasia, formerly known as RTI Controls (RTIC), has plans to open a Singapore office to assist its Gold Coast, Australia-based office with the distribution of RTI’s entire line of advanced control solutions into countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. (more…)

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