Archive for May, 2008

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 – 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…)

Daily Blog – Brian Florian – May 14, 2008: RENTAL APPEAL OF TV-ON-DVD.

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

I’ve never really understood why TV-shows-on-DVD are such big sellers.  To a certain extent I still don’t, but I’m starting to come around.

While I’ve always been an avid movie collector, I still don’t see the appeal of buying, say, all the Seinfeld seasons on DVD, even though I was/am a huge fan of the show.  Unlike great movies, I just don’t think I would ever say to myself “I think I’d like to watch Seinfeld episode 83 tonight….”.

Nevertheless, a few weeks ago my wife caught a second season episode of a serial-style show we’d never seen.  It seemed interesting so when she saw the proverbial “complete first season” at Jumbo Video, she rented it, and we’ve enjoyed watching a few seasons of mini-series style TV shows.  Appealing points include excellent 16×9 video, non-existent commercials (not even the need to skip past them) and above all no waiting for next week (or next season) to find out the next twist in the plot!

In fact, the experience was so radically different from watching, or even recording, cable TV, I’m now going through the old release section at Jumbo to see what else I might enjoy.  Noble House, recently out on DVD and reviewed by JJ, is next on my list (I had seen a couple episodes back in ’88, but never got to watch the whole thing).

Daily Blog – John E. Johnson, Jr. – May 12, 2008: MOVING TO A NEW COMPUTER IS AS BAD AS MOVING TO A NEW HOUSE.

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

My last computer was purchased 5 years ago, and as my video editing work moved to high definition, encoding speed was so slow, I could go to lunch just waiting for a few minutes of video to be completed.

So, it was time for a new computer. I ended up building one from scratch – with the help from one of our staff, Sandy Bird – and it cost a lot more than the usual system that I used to purchase from Dell.

The parts included a Quad-core Intel 3.2 GHz processor, 4 GB of DDR3 1600 RAM, five 500 GB SATA hard drives, Adaptec RAID card, Gigabyte motherboard, Asus video card, 750 watt power supply, and a huge case. At least I thought it was huge. The Asus video card was so big though, it was still a tight fit. The monitor for video editing has to be large too, so I picked the new Gateway 30″. The OS is Microsoft XP. I thought about Vista, but just about everyone I know hates Vista. So, XP.

Anyway, it had been so long since I last upgraded to a new computer, I forgot what a living hell it is to do so. Not so much building the computer. That was easy and fun. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Sandy Bird has built dozens of them. We had a new staff member, Josh Samet, over to help out. He will be writing some reviews for gaming.

And, no, the hard part was not re-installing all the programs. That is pretty much an automated thing, although digging up all the installation keys was annoying.

The nightmare was transferring all the data files. It’s like moving to a new house. You have to buy a new refrigerator, maybe some new rugs. But, you have to move all your stuff. Tons and tons of stuff.

Here is a photo of the living room after the computer build was finished. It looks just like a room being packed up for a move to the new home. The box for the video card was as big as a receiver. What a waste of paper!


Anyway, to the data file transfer. First, I copied the data files to an outboard USB hard drive. I needed a 250 GB drive because video files take up lots of disk space.

So, after waiting an hour or so for the data files to be copied, I unplugged the USB drive.

Whoops!!! What a mistake that was. Unplugging a USB mouse, keyboard, camera memory card, and lots of other things, while the computer is still on, never caused me a problem. But, when I unplugged that USB hard drive before officially “dismounting” it, kapoof went the sectors that list where everything is located. I could not get any computer, not the old one or the new one, to recognize that drive.

So, after re-copying the data files to another USB drive, and making sure to click that “Safely Remove Hardware” button on the bottom menu bar of the desktop, I was able to transfer my data files.

In the old days, I had maybe 250 MB of data files. They were things like e-mail addresses, manuscripts, spreadsheets, etc. No video files.

Now, there are hundreds of GB to transfer. Music, video, and just a little bit by comparison, of text.

If and when we go to 4k resolution video, let’s see, what is the next step up from Terabyte?

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