• Monday, Aug. 25, 2014
LG bets on pricey OLED technology as future of TVs
LG sets on display (AP file photo).
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- 

LG Electronics Inc. announced two new giant OLED TVs with ultra-high definition screens Monday, sticking with its strategy of using the exceptionally expensive OLED display technology.

The South Korean company said it will ship 65-inch OLED TVs starting September in South Korea, Europe and North America. A 77-inch model will hit shelves later this year.

While major TV makers are pushing to make ultra HD TVs mainstream, they use LCD screens. The super-high resolution picture, also known as 4K, packs four times more pixels than regular HD televisions.

Making ultra HD quality TVs with OLED screens remain costly. LG's 65-inch model will cost 12 million won ($11,765). Other types of ultra HD televisions sell for less than $3,000.

OLED features deeper color saturation and a sharper image quality than LCD. But for years, its cost and high production error rate prevented the technology from catching on among mainstream consumers.

LG said it is committed to OLED because the cost will come down and its advanced screen will eventually replace LCD screens. It forecasts that OLED TV sales will overtake LCD TV sales "within a few years."

"OLED is where we must head next," said Ha Hyun-hwoi, head of LG's TV business. "It is a matter of time."

LG's aggressive bet on OLED TVs is in contrast with its rival Samsung Electronics Co. After rolling out a 55-inch curved TV that uses an OLED display last year, Samsung has not announced an upgrade to its OLED TV for this year. Samsung uses OLED technology mostly for small devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers.

  • Monday, Aug. 25, 2014
BACK9NETWORK outfits new studio with Grass Valley and Belden products
LDX Compact
MONTREAL -- 

BACK9NETWORK, a golf lifestyle television network based in Hartford, Connecticut, is working closely with Grass Valley, a Belden brand, for its launch on DirecTV on Sept. 29. Grass Valley and Belden developed a customized suite of production solutions, backed by knowledge and experience from similar projects, to support BACK9NETWORK’s studio operations.

“We chose Grass Valley because their team brought the strongest, most flexible solution for our small, independent network,” said Charles Cox, CEO at BACK9NETWORK. “The majority of our original programming will be studio-based, so it was essential that we select a partner that offered the right products and expertise for studio production and understood our entrepreneurial needs. With Grass Valley’s end-to-end solution, we now have the ability as a startup network to deliver over one thousand hours of first-run studio programming in year one—providing compelling content with the production quality that our audience demands.”

Another deciding factor for BACK9NETWORK was Grass Valley’s ability to provide a comprehensive solution with minimal training requirements. According to Harry Goldberg, VP of engineering & operations at BACK9NETWORK, “a seamless, efficient workflow is essential with the network launch happening in a compressed timeframe.”

“We didn’t have time to work through vendor-to-vendor issues and needed to know that the system will work right out of the gate,” said Goldberg. “As we add more engineering and technical staff, we know there will be little to no learning curve because Grass Valley equipment is such an industry standard.”

BACK9NETWORK uses a variety of products from Grass Valley’s portfolio that encompasses acquisition through delivery:

·     LDX Compact Première advanced imaging cameras are built for tight spaces, remote pan/tilt heads, and POV applications, delivering superior imaging, processing and performance.

·     Karrera video production center 2 M/E switcher with K-Frame delivers superior performance with a wide variety of configuration options and features including 1080p 3G and 4K/UHD support.

·     NVISION 8144 hybrid router, part of the NVISION 8500 Enterprise Class router series, operates reliably, integrates smoothly and upgrades readily to larger configurations and the latest capabilities.

·     3RU Densité 3 Frame simultaneously processes 3Gbps, HD/SD and analog video.

·     K2 Summit 3G production client server delivers speed and stability for live event production.

·     Vertigo advanced channel branding solutions provide highly versatile graphics automation and asset management tools that offer a choice of productive workflows, including prerendering using Adobe After Effects, and a choice of dynamic rendering models using graphics templates.

·     Kaleido multiviewer offers superior picture quality, ultimate layout flexibility and precise signal probing capabilities.

·     Belden cables deliver signal transmission solutions.

·     Belden racks meet security, availability and efficiency challenges.

  • Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014
SMPTE confers “Fellow” status on 8 members of motion-imaging technology industry
WHITE PLAINS, NY -- 

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers has granted SMPTE Fellow membership status to eight industry leaders. This honor is conferred on individuals who have, through their proficiency and contributions to the industries, attained an outstanding rank among members of the Society.

New SMPTE Fellows will be inducted on Wednesday, Oct. 22, during the Fellows Luncheon, and further recognized on Thursday, Oct. 23, at the SMPTE Honors and Awards Ceremony. Both events will be held in conjunction with the SMPTE 2014 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2014) at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles. The Fellows Luncheon will feature a keynote by SMPTE Fellow Darcy Antonellis, who serves as CEO at Vubiquity.

The 2014 SMPTE Fellows are:

Hanno Basse, chief technology officer (CTO) at 20th Century Fox Film Corp., oversees technology strategy and engineering, including home entertainment, theatrical distribution, and postproduction. He earlier spent more than 14 years at DirecTV, ultimately as senior VP of broadcast systems engineering, with accomplishments including the 2005 launch of the largest HD channel rollout to date and the 2009 implementation of DirecTV’s video-on-demand infrastructure, as well as significant contributions to DirecTV’s broadcast infrastructure and construction of its Los Angeles Broadcast Center. Basse began his career in 1991 as a scientist-engineer at the Institut für Rundfunktechnik GmbH (IRT) in Munich, Germany, and worked as a systems engineer at ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG. He has been awarded 18 patents.

Thomas G. Edwards, VP of engineering and development at Fox Networks Engineering & Operations, works on advanced technology projects such as mobile digital television, 3D, and the Fox network satellite distribution system. Before joining Fox, he was senior manager of interconnection engineering at PBS, where he was responsible for the engineering planning of the PBS Next Generation Interconnection System. He was also involved in streaming media production and delivery at the Internet service provider DIGEX and the IP-over-satellite company Cidera. Edwards has contributed to the Report of the SMPTE Study Group on Media Production System Network Architecture, the Report of the SMPTE Task Force on 3D to the Home, and the National Association of Broadcasters Engineering Handbook. In addition to SMPTE, he is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Joseph J. Kane Jr. specializes in the sciences of electronic imaging and accurate reproduction of video signals on display devices, both of which are the focus of his company, Joe Kane Productions, founded in 1982. Kane has a long history of participating in standardization of the canvas on which electronic art is created and making it possible for a mass audience to be able to see that art as it was intended to be seen. He is currently working with higher-definition formats and the concept of a new video system based on the capability of current and future display technologies. Kane is also a manager of the SMPTE Hollywood Section.

John McCoskey is the SMPTE Eastern region governor and executive vice president and CTO at the Motion Picture Association of American (MPAA), where he is responsible for development and execution of MPAA’s global technology strategy. Previously McCoskey served as the first CTO at PBS, where he was responsible for all technology strategy, development, operations, and infrastructure serving more than 350 full-power public television stations. He earlier was vice president of product development at Comcast; CTO and co-founder at Brief Original Broadcasts; and senior vice president of technology and CTO at Discovery Communications. McCoskey is an inventor with more than 40 issued or pending U.S. utility patents related to technology and media.

Andrew Quested joined the BBC as a trainee engineer in 1978 and became a video editor working across the BBC’s output, including all episodes of the “Keeping Up Appearances” program. In his tenure as a BBC editor, Quested introduced nonlinear editing, as well as stereo and widescreen production; oversaw the introduction of end-to-end tapeless production; served as the technical lead on the BBC’s first HD channel; and lead HD pilot projects such as overseeing the workflow for the series “Planet Earth.” Quested currently chairs the Strategic Programme on Quality Control (QC) for the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), authors the BBC technical standards for international exchange, and is part of the U.K.’s Digital Production Partnership (DPP), which is responsible for the AS-11 DPP Compliance and Certification Programme. Quested has chaired International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Rapporteur Groups for 3D, image dynamic range, IP contribution, and quality control. As a manager of the SMPTE U.K. Section, he focuses on career development and education of new graduates and the U.K.’s new apprenticeship schemes.

Vince Roberts is executive vice president of global operations and CTO at Disney/ABC Television Group. He was a founding employee of Disney Channel in 1983 and ultimately led development of server-based broadcast operations. He established Disney’s first international broadcast operation, Walt Disney Television Singapore, and oversaw the launches of more than 90 entertainment channels and/or channel feeds in more than 160 countries and 30 languages. Prior to joining Disney, Roberts was in videodisc research and development with MCA and JVC/EMI/GE, earning a patent for a specialized quality control process device. During his two years at Color Systems Technology Inc. as senior vice president of production, the company earned an Emmy® Award for technical achievement for the video coloring process. Roberts co-chaired the Federal Communications Commission’s Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee on Internet closed captioning and is currently chairman of both the Innovation Advisory Board for Imagine Communications (formerly Harris Broadcast) and the Executive Board of the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California. He was awarded the 2014 Broadcast and Cable Technology Leadership Award and currently has four patents pending. In addition to SMPTE, he is a member of IEEE, Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers, and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and serves on the board of directors for the North American Broadcasters Association and the Emma L. Bowen Foundation.

Jim Starzynski is the director and principal audio engineer at NBCUniversal Advanced Engineering, where he oversees audio technologies and practices for all NBCUniversal television properties, including the company’s two broadcast networks, 26 owned stations, and 18 cable channels. Starzynski chairs the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) technical subgroup S34-2 on next-generation audio systems and S6-3 on digital television loudness. He is also the chair for the Sports Video Group DTV Audio Group and serves on the board of directors for the home audio division of the Consumer Electronics Association. Starzynski has received four Emmy Awards for technical achievement for multiple broadcasts of the Olympic Games, and he was the 2011 recipient of the ATSC’s highest technical honor, the Bernard J. Lechner Outstanding Contributor Award.

Colin R. Wright began his career at the Australian Broadcasting Control Board, where he worked on the introduction of color and stereo sound, and ultimately spent 35 years in key engineering roles with Australia’s Seven Network. During that time, he contributed to the creation of a global HDTV standard, led construction of Seven’s Los Angeles news studio, and introduced innovative techniques for carrying two television programs, data, and multiple sound channels on a single low-powered international satellite link. Wright worked closely with Hitachi to introduce charge-coupled device cameras and enhanced camera links for sport and studio work; and with Sony and EVS prior to the 1992 Barcelona Summer Games to improve disk record/replay systems. His contributions to Australian requirements for digital video broadcasting adoption helped to enable testing of Seven’s mobile broadcasting capabilities during the 2000 Sydney Summer Games. Wright holds editing and chairman roles on various Australian committees addressing digital television transmission and reception; quality monitoring, hybrid broadcast broadband television, IPTV, interactivity, spectrum planning, analog shutdown/channel restack, and audio loudness control; and 3D and UHDTV.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014
FilmLight to showcase solutions at SET 2014
Baselight's FLIP
LONDON -- 

FilmLight, alongside local partner PSK, will demonstrate how its technology is helping broadcasters, movie producers and creative studios shorten timescales without compromising creativity or quality at the SET Expo 2014 taking place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, August 24-27.

“We have achieved significant success across the region in recent years and SET is a great platform to demonstrate FilmLight’s cost-effective and highly productive solutions, available at every stage of the workflow,” said Francisco Monje, LATAM sales manager, FilmLight. “Collaborative working allows our customers to be more creative and remain confident that all their decisions will be securely captured and preserved in their final deliverables.”

FilmLight manages color from set to screen. On display at SET 2014 will be FLIP, the real-time image processor for on-set grading of digital cameras, and Baselight DAILIES. Baselight DAILIES is an exciting new addition to FilmLight’s colour range, designed for mobile post-production on location.

Visitors will also be able to see Baselight Editions, which takes the color processing engine from full Baselight workstations and implements it as a plugin within the foremost professional editing and VFX packages—including Avid, Final Cut Pro and NUKE, with more planned. The grade can be exchanged and adjusted simultaneously between editorial and effects as well as the colour suite, in a highly efficient and render-free workflow.

The integrated workflow ends on a full Baselight system for professional finishing. At SET 2014, FilmLight will showcase Baselight ONE, the complete and cost-effective grading and finishing solution that combines powerful fully-featured Baselight software and dedicated high performance hardware.

Facilities around the world have chosen FilmLight systems to power their end-to-end color pipeline. Most recently Brazil’s largest broadcaster TV GLOBO turned to FilmLight and Baselight to handle 4K Ultra High Definition TV series.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014
Pronology to showcase digital asset management tools at IBC
The Pronology suite.
AMSTERDAM -- 

Pronology, a developer of tapeless workflow solutions, will showcase its full range of digital asset management tools at the 2014 IBC Show (Hall 10, Stand A26). The Pronology suite simplifies the task of content creation and distribution for today’s tapeless workflows.

“Pronology was built upon our industry experience, which has allowed us to provide a flexible solution to accommodate the wide range of potential workflows that exist in today’s production environments,” said Mike Shore, co-founder of Pronology. “We are eager to expand our outreach to industry professionals and specifically to the European market, as we feel they can benefit from the features of our easy-to-use, collaborative, Web-based environment.”

Pronology provides users the option of working in the cloud, via an internal intranet or a secure Pronology-hosted network. By utilizing a standard Web-browser as its primary interface, Pronology allows a limitless number of users to perform multiple functions simultaneously and remotely.

Pronology’s custom-designed, hardware-agnostic ingest-control application can directly manage recording devices from industry leading manufacturers. In addition to giving users a single interface for starting and stopping multiple recordings, it also facilitates the entry of organizational metadata prior to and during ingest. This same information is used throughout the Pronology system, offering clear communication about a recording and its significance. This enables users to organize their content at the beginning of the process, minimizing human error. The system also includes a fully integrated transcode engine. Users can create proxies from imported material, or “normalize” all of their in-bound assets to a house format, all without the need to license and configure external transcoding software.

As part of the browser-based interface, users have instant access to a live Web proxy of the video and audio feeds being captured by the production’s record operation. These feeds can be logged instantly and time-coded accurately by multiple users, regardless of their physical location. User comments and log entries are immediately visible to all other (authorized) users, and can be associated with just one recording, or all recordings within a group. The log entries can be imported into an NLE environment and associated to the recordings as “locators.” As these entries are relevant to the high-, edit- and Web-proxy resolutions of the content, the editorial coordination between off- and on-line is greatly simplified. Pronology’s intuitive sub-clipping tool also allows users to select their ideal shots, and to sub-clip content into customizable bins for ease of organization and clear communication to the edit room.

Along with logging and sub-clipping, producers have the option to use the Web proxies to create a storyboard or “paper” cut of their projects. They can simply drag and drop the selected clips into a storyboard and send this as a “sequence” to their editor. Since these sequences can be associated to any resolution of a recording, the editor can load the Pronology storyboard into their NLE and link to the appropriate resolution for on- or off-line work. Pronology supports a range of NLE systems, including Avid, Adobe and Apple.

To manage project approval, Pronology enables post-production staff to e-mail a link to one or a group of producers/clients seeking comments and editorial authorization for recorded and edited content. This link is completely encrypted, allowing for off-site viewing while maintaining content security. Each link view is tracked in real time, showing the recipient time-stamped data for previews and approvals by each user. For added security, senders can specify a link’s “kill” date and require a login to view material.

As an extension of its approval functionality, Pronology also offers Web video hosting and advanced content-delivery services, including multi-platform distribution and VOD delivery for clients looking to monetize their content on the “other” screens.

And Pronology includes a complete archive solution. Imported and/or recorded content and its associated metadata can be preserved to both LTO data tape as well as to the cloud. Users have the option to control a single LTO tape drive or a multi-drive robot to create an open-standard LTFS-formatted backup manually or automatically. This gives users the ability to create full or partial restores of media directly from their browser. Included in the complete Pronology offering is the ability to extend all of the archive functionality to a cloud-based option.

  • Monday, Aug. 18, 2014
Gemini FX purchases three Pablo Rio 4K color and finishing systems
Gemini FX's Pablo Rio suite.
NEWBURY, UK -- 

Gemini FX, the Chennai, India-based digital film operation and part of the giant Gemini Industries and Imaging group, has purchased three turnkey Quantel Pablo Rio 4K color and finishing systems. One of the systems is equipped with the Neo color panel, and two with compact Neo Nano panels. Gemini now has a total of 12 Quantel color correction and finishing systems, making it the largest Quantel-based post facility in India.

Pablo Rio is Quantel’s high quality color and finishing system that provides the ultimate productive post workflow. Pablo Rio runs on high performance PC hardware and exploits NVIDIA Maximus multi-GPU technology to deliver true interactivity and maximum productivity, with realtime performance at 4K 60p and beyond. Pablo Rio is available as software only and as a range of Quantel-backed turnkey systems.

“Quantel systems have been at the heart of our digital film workflow since 2009,” said Mr Manohar Prasad, managing director at Gemini Industries & Imaging Ltd & Group of Companies. “At Gemini, we pride ourselves on giving our customers stunning results on screen, delivered quickly and efficiently. With the industry rapidly moving to 4K and beyond, we needed to ensure that we are able to meet our all our customers’ needs now and into the future. Pablo Rio, with its proven realtime 4K and 6K operation and its comprehensive color and finishing workflow, is the natural choice to take Gemini forward.”
 

  • Monday, Aug. 18, 2014
A Closer Look: Do more with companion devices
This April 2, 2014 image provided by Amazon shows the Amazon Fire TV system during a news conference in New York. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Amazon/AP Images, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Apple has ways of encouraging you to buy more of its products: It offers bonus features on devices like the iPhone and iPad that work only when paired with other Apple gadgets.

Amazon does it, too.

It's understandable. The devices need to communicate with each other at a deep level, and that's more easily done when a company controls the software on both ends. And these features are more like extras and don't affect the products' basic functionality.

Take streaming TV devices, for example: These gadgets cost about $100 and let you watch Netflix, Hulu and other online services on a big-screen TV. Though you don't need any other device for basic streaming, some advanced features in Amazon's Fire TV require a Kindle Fire tablet or a Fire phone, while some Apple TV features work only with iPhones, iPads and Mac computers.

As a result, you're wise to consider the devices you already own when you buy a new gadget, as these devices become more powerful when combined. Here's a closer look at how the Apple TV and the Fire TV work with other gadgets from Apple and Amazon.

___

— AMAZON FIRE TV

With a Fire phone or tablet, you can start a movie or TV show on one device and continue on another, at least when you're using the company's own streaming service, Amazon Instant Video. When watching on the TV, you can have the phone or tablet display trivia, cast information and character summaries — culled from IMDb and other sources. Information on the mobile device changes from scene to scene.

Consider these scenarios:

— You're near the end of a movie on the Fire TV at home, but need to head out. Just pull down the Fire phone's notification center and switch the movie to the phone. You won't miss a scene. It works the other way if you start on the phone on the way home.

— An actor seems familiar, but you can't remember his name or what else he's been in. With video playing on the Fire TV, check the phone or tablet to see headshots of actors in a given scene. Tap a headshot for more information. The feature also works with songs playing during certain scenes — and you can buy the song through Amazon, of course.

— You can also use the phone or tablet to pause, rewind, forward or go directly to a specific scene on the TV. Or you can check Facebook and email on the device once you've had your fill of cast information.

What about streaming services beyond Amazon's? By turning on a screen-mirroring function, anything appearing on the phone or tablet will appear on the TV. You have to dig through the settings on the phone or tablet to turn it on, though. Beyond video, I had a lot of fun pointing the phone's camera at my cousins' kids so they could see themselves on the TV live.

Unfortunately, audio and lips had a tendency to be out of sync when I mirrored using my home Wi-Fi network. It's better to work with an app that directly supports dual-screen use. Only Amazon Instant Video does so for now, though Amazon says it's working with selected partners to expand that.

___

— APPLE TV

You can start video on an iPhone or an iPad and continue on the TV using a feature called AirPlay. You're not limited to Apple's own iTunes service, so this is a way to get Amazon Instant Video on the big screen.

However, services have the option to disable this capability. Showtime and ABC Family, for instance, have done this. Their apps lack the AirPlay button and aren't available on the Apple TV.

Apple doesn't offer supplementary information on cast and characters, as Amazon does. And while you can start something on a phone or tablet, switch to the TV and switch back, this doesn't work if you start the video on the TV. Amazon's devices work both ways.

Apple does offer screen mirroring, and it's easier to get to than Amazon's version. Just swipe up from the bottom for the Control Center. It's not true screen mirroring, as video disappears from the mobile device when it shows up on the TV. This actually improves video quality because you're not wasting Internet bandwidth duplicating the stream on a device you're not watching.

You can also do screen mirroring from a Mac or use the Apple TV as a second monitor to extend your Mac's desktop space. But it doesn't always work well if your Wi-Fi network isn't pristine.

Unfortunately, mirroring is sometimes blocked for copyright reasons. I'm not able to fling DVDs from the Mac to the Apple TV, for instance. In trying to fling Showtime and ABC Family from the phone or tablet, I can get only audio on the TV. I haven't run into that with any of the video apps I've tried on the Fire.

Beyond streaming TV, Apple devices will soon work together even more extensively. The upcoming Yosemite operating system for the Mac and iOS 8 for iPhones and iPads will have a set of features called Continuity. You can start an e-mail on one device and finish on another. Or you can answer phone calls on the Mac. Stay tuned.

  • Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014
21 scientific & technical achievements under consideration for Academy Awards
An Oscar statue stands on the red carpet of the 2010 Scientific and Technical Awards. (AP photo)
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- 

The Scientific and Technical Awards Committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 21 scientific and technical achievements, 16 distinct investigations, have been selected for further awards consideration.

The list is made public to allow individuals and companies with similar devices or claims of prior art the opportunity to submit achievements for review.

The deadline to submit additional entries is Tuesday, August 26, at 11:59 p.m. PT.

The committee has selected the following technologies for further consideration:

    Portable, remote-controlled telescoping camera columns

    Prompted by MAT-TOWERCAM TWIN PEEK (MAT - Mad About Technology)
    Drivable, high-speed vehicle platforms

    Prompted by THE BISCUIT JR. (Allan Padelford Camera Cars)
    Neutral density filters that remove infrared contamination

    Prompted by INFRARED NEUTRAL DENSITY FILTER TECHNOLOGY (Tiffen Company)
    Lightweight, prime lens sets for high-resolution cameras

    Prompted by LEICA SUMMILUX-C PRIME LENS SERIES (CW Sonderoptic)
    Optical audio transfer processes

    Prompted by CHACE OPTICAL SOUND PROCESSOR (Deluxe)
    Enabling technology of digital cinema projectors

    Prompted by TEXAS INSTRUMENTS DLP CINEMA TECHNOLOGY (Texas Instruments)
    Interactive blend shape modeling and manufacturing

    Prompted by LAIKA RAPID PROTOTYPING AND FACIAL ANIMATION TECHNOLOGY (LAIKA, Inc.) and ILM SHAPE SCULPTING SYSTEM (ILM)
    Measurement toolsets for quality control of cinematic experience

    Prompted by LSS-100P (Ultra-Stereo Labs)
    Displays providing suitable visual reference for feature film review

    Prompted by SONY TRIMASTER EL ORGANIC LIGHT EMITTING DIODE PICTURE MONITORS (Sony Pictures Imageworks)
    Collaborative, enhanceable image playback and review systems

    Prompted by RV MEDIA PLAYER (Tweak Software)
    High-resolution motion capture techniques for deforming objects

    Prompted by MOVA (MOVA) and GEOMETRY TRACKER (ILM)
    Systems for interactive grooming and direct-manipulation of digital hair

    Prompted by BARBERSHOP (Weta Digital)
    Systems for placing, grooming and resolving collisions of digital feathers

    Prompted by DREAMWORKS FEATHER SYSTEM (DreamWorks Animation)
    Systems for modeling, animation and rendering of digital vegetation

    Prompted by SPEEDTREE (IDV)
    Digital technologies for high-density physical destruction simulation

    Prompted by DROP DESTRUCTION TOOLKIT (Digital Domain) and FINITE ELEMENT DESTRUCTION MODELING (UC Berkeley) and ODIN - UNIFIED HPC MULTI-PHYSICS SIMULATION PLATFORM (Weta Digital)
    Efficient volumetric data formats

    Prompted by FIELD 3D (Sony Pictures Imageworks) and VDB: HIGH-RESOLUTION SPARSE VOLUMES WITH DYNAMIC TOPOLOGY (DreamWorks Animation)

After thorough investigations are conducted in each of the technology categories, the committee will meet in early December to vote on recommendations to the Academy’s Board of Governors, which will make the final awards decisions.

The 2014 Scientific and Technical Awards will be presented on Saturday, February 7, 2015.

Claims of prior art or similar technology must be submitted on the Academy’s website at www.oscars.org/awards/scitech/apply.html. 

The Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network.  The Oscars presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

  • Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014
Canon Introduces New RC-V100 Remote Controller
RC-V100 Remote Controller
Lake Success, NY -- 

Compatible with the Canon Cinema EOS line of cameras (C500, C300, and C100) as well as Canon's XF-series of professional camcorders, the new RC-V100 Remote Controller is designed to respond to a diverse array of production needs requiring remote camera operation.  The RC-V100 Remote Controller enables users to remotely control a wide variety of functions built into the cameras, as well as adjust and set various controls, such as exposure and white balance.  The RC-V100 is powered from the connected camcorder via a 15-foot (five meter) cable  and a USB port enables the units firmware to be updated to support future remote-control functions.

The remote is ideal when capturing footage at sporting events, houses of worship, or any application that requires a camera mounted on a crane.   In addition to basic controls - start/stop, shutter/gain adjustments, zoom/focus/iris parameters, custom picture values, white balance, black gamma and more - the new remote can be used to adjust various menu settings.  It also features illuminated push buttons with audible feedback to confirm each setting change.  A SETUP mode lets users customize a number of key rotary controls as well as user procedures and operating modes. 

  • Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014
Camera Corps chooses IBC 2014 for first European showing of Q3 and MeerCat
Camera Corps' Q3 pan/tilt/zoom focus head.
LONDON -- 

Camera Corps will demonstrate the latest additions to its range of robotic camera systems at IBC 2014 in Amsterdam, September 12-16. Taking center stage will be the Q3 pan/tilt/zoom/focus head and MeerCat miniature camera, both introduced at NAB in April and now fully deliverable. Q3 and MeerCat can be integrated easily with all Camera Corps’ current control systems. Up to 96 cameras of various types can be joystick-controlled by up to four operators and four vision engineers.

Camera Corps’ Q3 robotic pan/tilt/zoom/focus camera allows highly efficient broadcast television coverage from practically anywhere. Fully IP45 rated, it is designed for use in coverage of events such as outdoor and indoor sports, reality shows and live stage performances. Q3 retains the unobtrusive compact spherical housing of its Q-Ball predecessor, allowing easy placement within view of other cameras while retaining full control of vertical and horizontal shooting angles, focal length and focus.

Just 104 millimetres high, 125 mm in diameter and weighing 2.5 kg, Q3 incorporates a high quality 1920 x 1080-native camera with a 2.1 million pixel 1/3 inch RGB Bayer progressive CMOS imager plus high-precision motorized pan/tilt/zoom/focus. An enhanced motor drive matches the precise acceleration and deceleration of much larger robotic heads when tracking moving performers on-air. The camera’s integral 20x optical zoom lens can be adjusted from maximum wide (59.4 degrees) to full telescopic (3 degrees) in just 3 seconds. Maximum focus time is 10 seconds.

Q3 can deliver live video in all commonly used HD formats, interlaced and progressive, at up to 60 hertz frame rate. Output signal format can be selected from the operator’s control panel. The motorized head can perform an unlimited number of 360 degree lateral rotations. Video is transferred at 3 gigabits per second over high-quality slip rings to ensure complete freedom from cable-snagging. Pan and tilt speed are adjustable from an ultra-slow 360 degrees in 90 minutes to 90 degrees per second. Motion control sequences of up to 25 seconds duration can be stored to internal non-volatile memory.

Additional features of Q3 include genlock input with remote timing adjustment,  smooth on-air operation of iris and master black, manual and automatical white balance adjustment, integral colour bar test signal generator and negative/positive/monochrome effects.

MeerCat miniature remote broadcast camera

Developed in response to demand from sports, reality-television and stage-show producers, MeerCat was first used on air at the April 2014 Thames Boat Race. One camera was mounted inside a thin metal pole at the rear of each boat, providing a forward view. Another was positioned at floor level, looking towards the cox.

The MeerCat head is housed in a metal case with a very small footprint, 30 x 30 mm, and is only 93 mm in height. It can be attached to a quarter-inch mount for easy integration into narrow-profile locations. Lens protrusion is just 25 mm. High-quality NF-mount lenses are available.

MeerCat can also be used as a wearable camera with a full high-definition live wireless link. Full control facilities including manual iris setting with adjustable electronic exposure can be performed remotely using the existing range of Camera Corps joysticks and remote panels.

MeerCat incorporates a high-quality third-inch MOS sensor with 1944 x 1092 effective pixels. This can be switched to deliver 1080p, 1080i or 720p video at 50, 59.94 or 60 hertz frame rate. Video is output as HD-SDI which can be converted to an optical feed using a Camera Corps optical fiber interface. 

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