Monday, August 20, 2018

Toolbox

  • Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018
IABM unveils Supply Trends Report
GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UK -- 

IABM, the international trade association for suppliers of broadcast and media technology, has released the first of its new format Supply Trends Reports. Covering the six months to December 2017, the Supply Trends Report combines actual financial data on the broadcast and media supply sector drawn from public and private sources with survey evidence from members on current trends, issues and sentiment.  

Analysis of the data is carried out by IABM’s in-house analysts, headed by lead analyst Lorenzo Zanni, and gives an authoritative overview of the performance of, and outlook for, the broadcast and media technology supply sector. Following is a headline summary of the Report’s findings. 

Year-on-year sales in the broadcast and media technology market grew by 1.2% in December 2017, with SMEs’ performance improving at a faster rate than large companies for the first time in several years. But while sales improved slightly, profit growth continued to slow, running at 75.9% of the December 2016 level. The continuing shift in buyers’ preferences for software running in generic IT technology, their increased concern for efficiency and a highly competitive market are all continuing to exert pressure on selling prices, with margins reducing despite vendors decreasing expenditure on R&D, recruitment, sales, marketing and shows.

The transition to software (including the cloud) is well underway, though hardware remains the primary source of both revenues and profits for most suppliers--with profits in sharp decline. However, some respondents whose primary source of revenues is hardware also said that their primary source of profits is now software, which generally carries higher margins than hardware.

Unsurprisingly given the Supply Trends Report’s findings on profitability, the IABM confidence ratio, which reflects business sentiment looking forward for the next year, declined from a fairly robust 7.4 mid-2017 to a less optimistic 5.6 in December 2017; this is relatively low by historical standards. Companies that primarily rely on software revenues were however significantly more confident than those primarily relying on hardware revenues--reflecting the now long-standing transition of technology buyers from hardware to software.

The Report also reflects the continuing difficulty for companies in recruiting staff with both the broadcast and IT skillsets needed today.

“Although some suppliers are going through difficult times at present, there are reasons to remain positive about the future of media technology,” said Peter White, CEO, IABM. “2018 is a ‘spike’ year with plenty of events-related spending guaranteeing growth and opportunities for many--particularly with SMPTE ST2110 now published and giving end-users the confidence to move forward with their IP plans.

“Adoption of emerging technologies will continue to rise, driving more growth for those suppliers that have invested in them. In the longer term, technology spending will continue to grow as traditional technology users try to keep up with the volatile nature of online video, leaving a plethora of opportunities for suppliers,” White concluded.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018
Call for papers issued for SMPTE 2018 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition
Audience members at the SMPTE 2017 Technical Conference
LOS ANGELES and WHITE PLAINS, NY -- 

SMPTE® has issued a call for technical manuscript proposals for the SMPTE 2018 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2018), which will be held Oct. 23-25 at a new venue, the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles. Authors must submit their proposals by May 28.

Held annually by SMPTE, the technical conference is the world’s premier forum for the exploration of media and entertainment technology. This year’s program committee is co-chaired by two SMPTE Fellows: Thomas Edwards, vice president engineering and development at Fox, and SMPTE Education Director Sara J. Kudrle, product marketing manager for playout at Imagine Communications. The committee is being overseen by SMPTE Education Director for Conference Programs Yvonne Thomas, product manager at Arvato Systems, and by SMPTE Education Vice President Richard Welsh, co-founder and CEO of Sundog Media Toolkit.

“The program committee intends to build a technical program that will reflect the innovative spirit, dynamic nature, and growing inclusion that characterize today’s media and entertainment industry,” said Welsh. “Presenting a paper at SMPTE 2018 offers researchers, engineers, educators, executives, creatives, and students with a unique opportunity to share their expertise, and we welcome proposals from all variety of professionals working in our field.”

Authors of manuscript proposals selected by the 2018 program committee will have the opportunity to present at the event and network with the industry’s most esteemed technology thought leaders and engineering executives. Program sessions address advancements in current technology, plus future-looking developments in media technology, content creation, image and sound, and the allied arts and sciences. 

Proposed papers must be informational and must address technical theory, research, innovation, application, or practice specific to any of the evolving technologies associated with the media and entertainment industry. Papers that are commercial or promotional will not be considered, nor will those that have already been published. Student papers are strongly encouraged.

Possible paper topics include subjects such as ultra high definition (UHD); wide color gamut (WCG) and high dynamic range (HDR) management; the future of media distribution (OTT, ATSC 3.0, mobile, etc.); media infrastructure (SDI, ST 2110); workflow management (file-based, automation); cloud and virtualized media processing; image acquisition and processing; content management and storage, restoration, and preservation; cinema processing and projection technology; human perception of images and sound; quality and monitoring of images or sound; new compression techniques and implementations; content and network security; new audio techniques or technologies; advances in display technologies; future media technology (virtual reality, augmented reality, 360 video); machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) technology for professional content creation; and inclusion in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Instructions on submitting an abstract, along with a comprehensive listing of potential topics, are available here. Early submission of paper proposals will ensure consideration by the SMPTE 2018 program committee. May 28 is the firm deadline for abstract submissions.

Final proposal selection and notification to authors will occur no later than July 20. To ensure SMPTE has time to process papers for the conference, selected presenters must provide an electronic version of the final technical manuscript to the Society no later than Sept. 28.

Following SMPTE 2018, SMPTE will publish accepted manuscripts to the SMPTE Digital Library hosted on the IEEE Xplore platform, and video of each paper presentation will be posted to the Society’s YouTube channel. Submitted manuscripts will also go through peer review for possible publication in the award-winning SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal.

This year the SMPTE conference will boast a larger high-tech exhibit hall and more seating for its three days of technical sessions. The event also will feature special events including two cocktail receptions, the Annual Awards Gala, and a preconference Symposium, all of which bring attendees unparalleled opportunities for professional development, relationship building, and “mind sharing.” SMPTE 2018 also provides exhibitors and sponsors with a unique opportunity to showcase their latest products and technologies while increasing brand visibility.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018
TV Convergence Working Group approves file delivery specs for digital video
Ryan Schnizlein, chair of AICP’s Technical Committee and chief technology officer at Cutters Studios
NEW YORK -- 

The TV Convergence Working Group--an omnibus industry group comprised of nine leading associations for advertisers, ad agencies, media distribution companies, broadcasters and independent production and postproduction companies--has approved a set of digital video file deliverable specifications designed to simplify the distribution of digital ad content across media platforms.

The task force was launched in early 2017 to standardize the distribution specs for video ads to streamline cross-platform video delivery. After months of research and discussion, the group arrived at a set of delivery specs for digital video which it believes are well-suited to handle the large majority of spots seen on broadcast and cable TV, on the internet and on mobile devices.

The Working Group addressed specific areas the organizations have identified as being critical for meeting the ever-growing digital appetite of marketers and consumers. These included not just file delivery specifications but also advertising metadata and audio specifications and best practices for both High Definition and Standard Definition video. The file specs also include an embedded Ad-ID identifier, which supports a range of workflow improvements. The specs can be downloaded here.

To date, a number of media distribution companies have endorsed these specs and agreed to accept them as a current de facto industry standard. This group includes Adstream, Comcast Ad Delivery, Extreme Reach, Fotokem, Sound80, Spot Traffic, Syncro Services and Yangaroo. 

The TV Convergence Working Group behind this effort included representatives from AICP, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Technology Lab, the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As), the Digital Production Partnership, Ltd. (DPP), the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA), the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM), the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) and Ad-iD, the service launched by ANA and the 4As to identify and track advertising assets across all media channels.

“By using the AICP File Deliverable Specifications, any entity engaged in the production or postproduction of digital video ad content will benefit from a simplified, more uniform process of encoding and uploading files,” said Ryan Schnizlein, chair of AICP’s Technical Committee and chief technology officer at Cutters Studios. “This move will go a long way to clarify a marketplace situation that’s needlessly inefficient and complicated, adding time and cost to the advertising supply chain.”

  • Monday, Feb. 19, 2018
FUJIFILM unveils new ultra-compact cinema lenses
The FUJINON MKX18-55mmT2.9 cinema lens
VALHALLA, NY -- 

FUJIFILM North America Corporation announced the launch of FUJINON MKX18-55mmT2.9 and FUJINON MKX50-135mmT2.9 cinema lenses for X Mount, new additions to the X Series line of interchangeable lenses.

Available in June 2018, these cinema lenses offer a lightweight and compact design with the same optical performance and operability as larger cinema lenses in their class. They cover 18-135mm–the most frequently used focal length in video production–and achieve a constant T2.9 aperture across the entire zoom range, enabling a shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh effect. With an enhanced optical and mechanical design, the MKX18-55mm and MKX50-135mm suppress focus shifts while zooming and reduce lens breathing, ensuring continuous sharp output. In line with the optical performance of the XF16-55mm and XF50-140mm lenses, these new MKX lenses offer a range of features that enable ease-of-use for capture in a wide array of shooting situations.

“The growth of video production has created a large demand among videographers and cinematographers for compact and easy-to-use lenses,” said Yuji Igarashi, general manager of the Electronic Imaging Division & Optical Devices Division at FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “In keeping with our commitment to deliver innovative products and solutions, Fujifilm has recognized this need and has introduced the MKX18-55mm and MKX50-135mm lenses, offering a lightweight design and affordable price point, while delivering great optical performance and operability as other professional cinema lenses.”

The MKX18-55mm and MKX50-135mm are lightweight and compact; achieving advanced optical performance utilizing the short flange focal distance of X Mount. This feature reduces the number of people needed for the shooting process, ideal for small budget productions.

In addition, the lenses offer advanced optical performance across the entire zoom range. Achieving T2.9 aperture, they facilitate the bokeh effect with shallow depth-of-field eliminating the need to readjust lighting. Combined, these features not only lead to beautiful videos, but also shorten shooting time, making the MKX lenses a very economical choice for movie production. Further adding to its superior output, contact with an X Series camera corrects distortion, color, brightness and achieves Fujifilm’s various Film Simulation modes.

The optical and mechanical approach employed in these new MKX lenses allows for elimination of time lag that is usually experienced with electrical control systems. Manufacturing technology developed for conventional FUJINON cinema lenses was applied to control the optical axis shift while zooming. The front inner-focusing system controls lens breathing, allowing for smooth focus over an entire scene. Additionally, when zooming, focus shift is suppressed by independently driving the front focusing group and zooming group of lens elements away from each other.

The MKX18-55mm and MKX50-135mm feature three fully manual rings for independent adjustment of focus, zoom and aperture, allowing for intuitive operation. The focus ring offers a rotation of a full 200 degrees to facilitate precise focusing even when shooting with a shallow depth-of-field where a high degree of precision is required. Further, all operation rings have a gear pitch of 0.8 m, allowing the use of all standard third party accessories for video production. With an iris that supports seamless adjustment, precise and silent exposure is achieved while preventing camera shake caused by clicking, making these lenses perfect for a wide array of shooting situations.

Adding to their high quality video production, these MKX lenses are designed for ease of use. The gears for all three rings are positioned in the same place eliminating the need to re-position accessories when switching lenses. Only one matte box with an 85mm front diameter and one filter size with a filter thread of 82mm are needed between the two lenses. Equipped with a macro function that allows shooting close-ups to broaden the range of scenes that can be covered with one lens, optimum performance is achieved.

FUJINON MKX18-55mmT2.9 key features

  • Compatible with all FUJIFILM X Series interchangeable system cameras
  • Compact, lightweight lens weighing just 1,080g with external dimensions (maximum diameter x length) of 87mm x 206.6mm
  • Comprised of 22 glass elements in 17 groups with 6 super extra low dispersion lens elements and 2 extra low dispersion lens elements
  • Achieves maximum aperture of F2.8 and minimum aperture of F22 for close-up shots
  • Focus range of 0.85m/2ft 9” with wide macro function and 0.38m/1ft 2.9” at wide end and angle of view at 76.5° - 29.0°

FUJINON MKX50-135mmT2.9 key features

  • Compatible with all FUJIFILM X Series interchangeable system cameras
  • Compact, lightweight lens weighing just 1,080g with external dimensions (maximum diameter x length) of 87mm x 206.6mm
  • Comprised of 22 glass elements in 17 groups with 2 extra low dispersion lens elements and 2 super extra low dispersion lens elements
  • Achieves maximum aperture of F2.8 and minimum aperture of F22 for close-up shots
  • Focus range of 1.2 m/3 ft. 11” with wide macro function and 0.85 m/2 ft. 9” at wide end and angle of view at 31.7° - 12.0°

Accessories Included in both lenses

  • Tripod collar foot
  • Support foot
  • Zoom lever
  • Lens cap
  • Lens rear cap
  • Lens hood
  • Wrapping cloth

Availability and Pricing
The FUJINON MKX18-55mmT2.9 and cinema lens will be available in Spring/Summer 2018 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $3,999.95.

The FUJINON MKX50-135mmT2.9 cinema lens will also be available in Spring/Summer 2018 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $4,299.95.

  • Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018
Micro Cinema Cameras capture season 2 of NBC's "Better Late Than Never"
In this Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, photo, from left, Henry Winkler, Terry Bradshaw, Jeff Dye, George Foreman and William Shatner, cast members in the NBC reality series "Better Late Than Never," pose together at NBCUniversal Studios in Universal City, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
FREMONT, Calif. -- 

Blackmagic Design announced that DP David Ortkiese used Micro Cinema Cameras and Video Assist 4K monitor/recorders to capture and monitor in-vehicle and exterior camera shots for season two of NBC’s hit series “Better Late Than Never.”

The show follows five globe-trotting stars--Henry Winkler, William Shatner, George Foreman, Terry Bradshaw and comedian Jeff Dye--as they set off on a wildly entertaining journey to Munich, Berlin, Lithuania, Sweden, Barcelona, Madrid and Morocco. Due to the show’s focus on travel, Ortkiese and his team required small form factor cameras that were easy to transport and mount, but that delivered a cinematic look.

“There were several factors that went into using the Micro Cinema Cameras,” noted Ortkiese. “Along with in-vehicle coverage, we wanted something that could dynamically capture car chases at 130 mph. We also wanted a camera that would match cinematically, and the Micro Cinema Camera does just that with its ability to shoot in 12-bit RAW cinema DNG and its 13 stops of dynamic range. Lastly, having an interchangeable lens mount gave us the creative flexibility to use the lenses we wanted, allowing us to get the coverage we wanted without sacrificing quality or image continuity.”

The Micro Cinema Cameras’ 12-bit RAW and dynamic range were also beneficial for the variety of shoot locations. “We would start out driving in a field and end up in a forest, or drive through a tunnel or under a bridge, so we needed that dynamic range and RAW control to help match the look,” said Ortkiese. “The show itself has a color arc as it travels from mid to southern Europe and into North Africa. The terrains all have different visual color palettes, and we needed that integrated into each location and episode. Shooting in RAW helped capture and enhance all that.”

In a similar vein, as the locations changed, the types of vehicles changed too. Ortkiese and his team rigged the Micro Cinema Cameras inside and outside a variety of vehicles, from taxis to a BMW i8, as well as on a Go Kart and even a camel.

“During the BMW driving experience, we wanted to chase a race car, so we mounted a Micro Cinema Camera to the front bumper of a BMW i8, as well as to the follow car, and chased the BMW at 130 mph around the racetrack. The footage came out fantastic,” explained Ortkiese. “In Morocco, we also strapped Micro Cinema Cameras to the front and back of a Go Kart driving at 60 mph, which is naturally going to be shaky because of the lack of suspension. The camera’s high refresh rate helped with image stability and overall, it eliminates any other sports camera on the market.”

Additional mounts included B roll of taxis from each location. “In every country, we needed to get a point-of-view driving shot on top of a taxi, looking over the sign on the roof. The only exception was in North Africa where we used a camel instead,” noted Ortkiese. “One of our camera operators was tasked with capturing these shots, so he would grab a Micro Cinema Camera, find a taxi, or a camel, rig the camera and drive around for 45 minutes. It was very ‘grab and go’ in that respect, and the biggest thing about these small cameras is that you don’t have to use a ton of rigging, which lets you be more efficient, creative and organic while shooting.”

“The show definitely has a comedic element, and with comedy, you can’t get too frustrated with changes in the creative; you have to go with the flow,” he added. “Having a tool like the Micro Cinema Cameras on set helped as it allowed us to seamlessly incorporate them into a scene and capture spur of the moment content. For example, totally impromptu, we attached one to a fake bull head, shooting through its horns for a special chase shot.”

Ortkiese concluded, “We have some unbelievable footage because of the Micro Cinema Cameras, including important and stylistic action shots. Such a little action camera with 12-bit RAW and interchangeable lenses make it a step above many other small action cameras, giving us the ability to control and match footage in extreme environments.”

  • Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018
SMPTE's "Magic and Miracles" book now shipping
Philip J. Cianci, "Magic and Miracles" editorial director
WHITE PLAINS, NY -- 

SMPTE® has announced that “Magic and Miracles: 100 Years of Moving Imaging Science and Technology,” a full-color, hardcover book documenting a century of innovation fueled by SMPTE’s standards work, is now shipping. The book will remain available at its pre-order price--$59.94 for SMPTE Members and $75 for nonmembers--through March 15.

“Tradition, resilience, agility, and adaptability have enabled SMPTE to thrive for more than a century on the leading edge of the development and standardization of motion-imaging technology, and ‘Magic and Miracles’ commemorates this achievement,” said SMPTE executive director Barbara Lange. “We feel that the book provides an elegant and engaging overview of the work and contributions of the Society, and we hope that it will be an inspiration to the next generation of media system technologists.”

Documenting a century of innovation fueled by SMPTE’s standards work, the richly illustrated, 9-inch by 11-inch, full-color hardcover features more than 350 pages of historical photographs, movie stills, insider stories, and milestone events. Under the direction of editorial director Philip J. Cianci, “Magic and Miracles” commemorates the work of the Society and its members in the development of motion picture, television, and digital media technology. The book includes essays contributed by SMPTE Members, descriptions of landmark events, insights into the Society’s standards development work, and archival material that documents the course of moving-image technology evolution.

Also available as a companion to “Magic and Miracles” is “The Honor Roll and Honorary Members of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.” This limited-edition, 100-page, full-color hardcover showcases the industry leaders and innovators who have contributed their talents to SMPTE over the past century. Media technologists and nontechnical industry professionals alike will enjoy this commemorative book highlighting the lives and achievements of these remarkable individuals. 

Both books are available here.

 

  • Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018
SMPTE members to bring expertise to BVE 2018
SMPTE Education VP Richard Welsh
WHITE PLAINS, NY -- 

SMPTE members will be presenting at BVE 2018, which runs Feb. 27 to March 1 in London. More than 40 SMPTE Sustaining Members will also be exhibiting with stands at the event.

“Tech innovators, business leaders, and other professionals from across the media, entertainment, and creative industries come together at BVE every year to celebrate, find inspiration, and discuss the trends and technologies shaping the future of content creation, consumption modes and models, and commercial opportunity,” said SMPTE Education Vice President Richard Welsh. “We’re proud to be a partner of BVE and a contributor to what surely will be an exceptional program.”

SMPTE Members scheduled to speak at BVE 2018 include Robert Ambrose of High Green Media, who will lead an opening session titled “CTO View: Technology’s Impact on Workflow” as part of the Techflow Futures series/stream. Ambrose also will chair the Tuesday lunchtime session “IP Production: Enabling the New Broadcast System?” and the Wednesday lunchtime session “SKY: UHD Entertainment Production and Post Production.”

SMPTE Member Tom Griffiths of ITV, also a past SMPTE UK Section manager, will be a panelist for the session “Smart Investment: How Not to Waste Money on Your Technology.” SMPTE Life Fellow John Ive of IABM will chair “Technology Leaders View: Delivering Technology of the Future,” which includes SMPTE Member John Ellerton of BT, a past manager of the SMPTE UK Section, as a panelist.

SMPTE Fellow and Eluvio co-founder and CEO Michelle Munson will present a session titled “Revolutionizing Digital Content Storage and Interchange With Blockchain Ledgers and Machine Learning.” She will discuss topics including the foundational concepts of blockchain technology, advanced machine learning techniques, and the technical challenges of legacy content architecture.

SMPTE UK Regional Governor Mark Harrison will lead “The Trends That Matter: The DPP Predictions 2018” and will also be a panelist on “IMF: What does the new mastering format mean to you?” SMPTE UK Section Manager Andy Wilson, also of DPP, will be a part of “DPP Panel: How to Be Big Online — the Secrets of Success from the Online Producers Who Know” in the Business of Production session series/stream. SMPTE Member Simon Frost of AWS Elemental, an Amazon Web Services Company, will present “Intelligent Cloud Media Workflows for Delivering Better Viewer Experiences,” which will be held in the CME Theatre at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

  • Friday, Oct. 13, 2017
Cinematographers play key role in Tech Emmy win for Fujinon Cine Zooms
During Fujinon Day Atlanta, Bill Wages, ASC (r), gives feedback on FUJINON Cabrios with Radames Gonzalez from Arri Rental in lens projection room.
WAYNE, NJ -- 

The Optical Devices Division of FUJIFILM has been awarded  an Engineering Emmy® for its FUJINON “4K Cine Zoom Lenses providing imagery in television” by the Television Academy, and will receive the honor at the Academy’s October 25 Engineering Awards ceremony at Loews Hollywood Hotel. The introduction of FUJINON’s Cabrio and Premier series of cinema zoom lenses brought about the ability to cover Super 35mm imagers and efficiently shoot the full gamut of television production without sacrificing image quality.

“The willingness of some of the top cinematographers and their rental houses to test, explore and provide feedback about our lenses is an integral part of this Emmy win,” states Thomas Fletcher, director of sales, FUJIFILM Optical Devices Division. “They’re a very loyal group, devoted to their lens choice. To test a new cinema lens is not something that’s considered lightly. Winning an honor as prestigious as an Emmy is an affirmation of Fujifilm’s dedication to the art and craft of cinematography. We thank the Academy for their recognition of our work and for the support we’ve received from the cinematography community.”

In fact, two cinematographers won Creative Arts Emmys this year using FUJINON cine zooms: David Miller, ASC, for Veep won Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half Hour) honors; and Donald A. Morgan, ASC, was awarded an Emmy for The Ranch in the Outstanding Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series category.

Others who’ve embraced the new FUJINON zoom lenses include three-time ASC Award winner William Wages, ASC (Burn Notice, Containment, Revolution, Sun Records). For Wages, the FUJINON Cabrio 19-90 and 85-300mm zooms have “changed the way I shoot.”  Wages added: “With their speed alone, they’re virtually the only lenses I’m using. The optical quality, small size and speed are unequaled. The combination of these two lenses are ideal for television production.” Wages is an ASC recipient of the Career Achievement in Television honor. 

This marks the sixth Engineering Emmy award granted to Fujifilm and Fujinon. Past awards include:

  • “Development of the new high-speed color negative film A250 Color Negative Film” in 1982
  • “Developments in Metal Tape Technology” in 1990
  • “Implementation in Lens Technology to Achieve Compatibility with CCD sensors” in 1996
  • “Lens technology developments for solid state imagers cameras in high definition formats” in 2005
  • The world's first autofocus system, "Precision Focus," in 2009
  • Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017
Facebook gets real about broadening virtual reality's appeal
In this Jan. 6, 2016, file photo, Peijun Guo wears the Oculus Rift VR headset at the Oculus booth at CES International in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seems to be realizing a sobering reality about virtual reality: His company's Oculus headsets that send people into artificial worlds are too expensive and confining to appeal to the masses.

Zuckerberg on Wednesday revealed how Facebook intends to address that problem, unveiling a stand-alone headset that won't require plugging in a smartphone or a cord tethering it to a personal computer like the Oculus Rift headset does.

"I am more committed than ever to the future of virtual reality," Zuckerberg reassured a crowd of computer programmers gathered in San Jose, California, for Oculus' annual conference.

Facebook's new headset, called Oculus Go, will cost $199 when it hits the market next year. That's a big drop from the Rift, which originally sold for $599 and required a PC costing at least $500 to become immersed in virtual reality, or VR.

Recent discounts lowered the Rift's price to $399 at various times during the summer, a markdown Oculus now says will be permanent.

"The strategy for Facebook is to make the onboarding to VR as easy and inexpensive as possible," said Gartner analyst Brian Blau. "And $199 is an inexpensive entry for a lot of people who are just starting out in VR. The problem is you will be spending that money on a device that only does VR and nothing else."

Facebook didn't provide any details on how the Oculus Go will work, but said it will include built-in headphones for audio and have a LCD display.

The Oculus Go will straddle the market between the Rift and the Samsung Gear, a $129 headset that runs on some of Samsung's higher-priced phones. It will be able to run the same VR as the Samsung Gear, leading Blau to conclude the Go will rely on the same Android operating system as the Gear and likely include similar processors as Samsung phones.

The Gear competes against other headsets, such as Google's $99 Daydream View, that require a smartphone. Google is also working on a stand-alone headset that won't require a phone, but hasn't specified when that device will be released or how much it will cost.

Zuckerberg promised the Oculus Go will be "the most accessible VR experience ever," and help realize his new goal of having 1 billion people dwelling in virtual reality at some point in the future.

Facebook and other major technology companies such as Google and Microsoft that are betting on VR have a long way to go.

About 16 million head-mounted display devices were shipped in 2016, a number expected to rise to 22 million this year, according to the research firm Gartner Inc. Those figures include headsets for what is known as augmented reality.

Zuckerberg, though, remains convinced that VR will evolve into a technology that reshapes the way people interact and experience life, much like Facebook's social networks and smartphones already have. His visions carry weight, largely because Facebook now has more than 2 billion users and plays an influential role in how people communicate.

But VR so far has been embraced mostly by video game lovers, despite Facebook's efforts to bring the technology into the mainstream since buying Oculus for $2 billion three years ago.

Facebook has shaken up Oculus management team since then in a series of moves that included the departure of founder Palmer Luckey earlier this year.

Former Google executive Hugo Barra now oversees Facebook's VR operations.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017
Digital Nirvana to demo media management wares at NAB Show NY
Digital Nirvana will showcase its sports clipping service at NAB New York
FREMONT, Calif. -- 

Digital Nirvana will showcase its full suite of media management products and services at the upcoming NAB Show New York. Booth highlights will include closed captioning solutions, automated sports clipping service, and the newest version of the MonitorIQ media management platform. NAB Show New York takes place October 18-19 at the Javits Convention Center, and Digital Nirvana will exhibit in booth N662.

“We enjoy NAB New York because it gives us a chance to connect with many regional current and potential customers that may not have attended recent international shows, such as IBC,” said Hiren Hindocha, president and CEO, Digital Nirvana. “We create smart media management solutions that streamline workflows, and our newest solutions and services were developed in response to consumer demand in the ever-changing broadcast and content creation landscape.”

One booth highlight will be the company’s all-in-one automated sports clipping service. Introduced earlier this year, the service enables broadcasters to easily capture and share every fast-paced moment in a game. Offering a state-of-the-art workflow and customization options, the service automatically analyzes sports broadcasts in real-time and generates ready-to-publish clips of those highlights. Digital Nirvana’s sports clipping service is coupled with automated caption synchronization, enabling sports broadcasters to publish sports media content online and via social media without any considerable time delay while complying with all FCC regulations. Watch this video to learn more about the sports clipping service. 

Another NAB Show New York highlight will be the company’s cloud-based closed captioning, subtitling, and video logging services. Offering postproduction, pop-on, and roll-up captioning services, the company offers high-quality caption generation for all pre-recorded and online video content through an automated process over the cloud. Digital Nirvana’s cloud-based caption synchronization technologies use audio fingerprinting to automate near-live synchronization of live broadcast captions. Automated speech-to-text conversion, coupled with state-of-the-art workflow and experienced captioners, reduces the time and cost to publish, provides better search engine discoverability - while complying with FCC guidelines.

On the product side, Digital Nirvana will showcase its MonitorIQ media management platform, which delivers a full range of multi-channel signal monitoring, repurposing, logging, compliance and archiving functions. The latest version of MonitorIQ, V5.0, features cloud-based recording, OTT stream monitoring functions, and HTML5 and HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) support, and incorporates the ability to record from Matrox’s Monarch HDX streaming appliance. Digital Nirvana will also showcase its standalone media management products, including the CAR/TS (Capture, Analyze, Replay – Transport Stream) transport stream recorder, which records and monitors the transport stream, provides alerts of non-compliance, offers time-shifted playout, and allows users to cut segments and export section of the transport stream for more detailed analysis. Other standalone product highlights include AnyStreamIQ for cloud-based OTT monitoring and MediaPro for content repurposing.

MySHOOT Profiles

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Award Winning US Writer-Director with International Experience
Director, Writer