Sony Pictures to Release Titles on UHD Blu-ray Disc in 2016

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) will release a slate of films in the Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc format in 2016, becoming the second studio, after Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, to do so. As sales of Ultra HD television sets soar, so does the need for Ultra High Def content making Sony Pictures movies a natural fit. Some experts say that growth in Ultra HD may lead to an uptick in sales of Blu-ray Disc players as the best way to watch UHDTV. Lionsgate also announced plans to remaster its top 100 movies in UHDTV. Continue reading Sony Pictures to Release Titles on UHD Blu-ray Disc in 2016

China’s LeTV Brings VR Headset, Smart TV, More to the U.S.

Though LeTV is little known in the U.S., that’s about to change. The Chinese online video and consumer electronics behemoth, which posted an estimated $1.6 billion in revenue last year, is about to introduce U.S. consumers to its Android-based smartphone, a bike with an integrated GPS device, smart TVs with voice control, a 4K video streaming box and a VR headset. The company plans to initially focus on the 3 million Chinese speakers in the U.S. but has also inked a two-picture deal with “Lion King” director Rob Minkoff. Continue reading China’s LeTV Brings VR Headset, Smart TV, More to the U.S.

SMPTE 2015: Delineating Ways to Broadcast Ultra HD 4K TV

The future of high dynamic range (HDR), wide color gamut and high frame rate (HFR) are a focus in the industry, so it was no surprise that several presentations at SMPTE 2015 took a closer look at these topics. One panelist made the point that the human visual system doesn’t see resolution, color gamut and frame rate as separate parameters, therefore we can’t treat them as such. Broadcasters working to playback UHD/4K TV are dealing with issues as their plants evolve from SDI-only to SDI/IP hybrid transport. Continue reading SMPTE 2015: Delineating Ways to Broadcast Ultra HD 4K TV

SMPTE 2015: Post Production Is Moving to the Cloud, Slowly

In the world of UHD/4K, movies and TV programs can require massive amounts of compute power. Take a recent 50-minute UHD natural history documentary that Sundog Media Toolkit worked on. Chief executive Richard Welsh reports it ran for four hours on over 5,000 processors. The necessity for finding huge amounts of compute power is becoming a challenge for productions, he notes.We could have run that job in real time if we had split it up more, and that would have taken us up to more than 20,000 processors for one hour.” Continue reading SMPTE 2015: Post Production Is Moving to the Cloud, Slowly

SMPTE 2015: Challenges of Adding HDR, HFR and Color to 4K

At the SMPTE 2015 annual conference, broadcast consultant Jim DeFilippis, Grass Valley camera executive Klaus Weber, and Panasonic researcher Hiroaki Iwasaki, among others, looked at the challenges involved with adding higher frame rates, higher dynamic range and wider color gamut for 4K resolution and beyond. Baylor University professors Corey Carbonara and Michael Korpi attempted to find the perfect amount of frame rates, exposure times, lighting, and refresh rates to arrive at the best image. Continue reading SMPTE 2015: Challenges of Adding HDR, HFR and Color to 4K

SMPTE HDR Report Offers Recommendations for Standards

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers has published a study group report on the high dynamic range imaging ecosystem, now available for download on the SMPTE site. The report provides a detailed summary regarding “the implementation of HDR in professional media workflows and addresses key questions that will arise for industry members as they move forward in taking advantage of HDR technology.” In addition, it provides recommendations for standardization efforts. According to SMPTE, the report reflects the efforts of 170 international experts. Continue reading SMPTE HDR Report Offers Recommendations for Standards

CEDIA Expo: 4K Players, Projectors Coming to Home Theaters

During last week’s CEDIA Expo in Dallas, Sony showcased its new line of Full HD home theater projectors, including two models that support 4K. Sony is also providing high dynamic range support with its VPL-VW665ES, which allows HDMI input of HDR content with a 300,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Meanwhile, Kaleidescape debuted its Encore line with the 4K Strato movie player, the “world’s first 4K Ultra HD high dynamic range movie player for the home.” Kaleidescape showed new Alto players and the Terra server, which simultaneously streams 4K content to up to seven Strato players. Continue reading CEDIA Expo: 4K Players, Projectors Coming to Home Theaters

Apple Goes All Retina with iMac Displays, Updates Peripherals

Apple is introducing 4K Retina screens for its 21.5-inch iMacs and 5K resolution for its 27-inch iMacs. Displays also tout a 25 percent increase in color gamut. Larger iMacs will feature enhanced graphics capabilities and Intel’s new Skylake processor. And now that the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus offerings include the ability to record 4K video, an updated iMovie supports 4K footage and 1080p HD video at 60 fps. The company has also redesigned its Magic line of keyboards, mice and trackpads to include new features, including the ability to recharge batteries with the same Lightning plug used by the iPhone. Continue reading Apple Goes All Retina with iMac Displays, Updates Peripherals

Roku 4 Media Player Delivers 4K Streaming, Discovery Updates

Roku officially revealed the Roku 4, priced at $129.99, which supports 4K/Ultra HD and HDTVs, and features a new operating system, faster processor, improved Wi-Fi and more memory. Roku OS 7 improves users’ ability to discover specific content among its 3,000+ apps and channels. The company also unveiled an updated mobile app, which offers a streamlined design for Search, the Roku Feed and remote control from the smartphone. The Roku 4 joins several upgraded connected players from Amazon, Apple, Google and TiVo. Continue reading Roku 4 Media Player Delivers 4K Streaming, Discovery Updates

IMAX with Laser Debuts with “The Walk” to Positive Reviews

IMAX debuted its new IMAX with Laser digital projection system in London; Dubai; Los Angeles; Seattle; Reading, Massachusetts; and Chantilly, Virginia. The new projection system, which offers 4K resolution, Rec. 2020 color space and up to 60 fps, made use of 120 patents the company exclusively licensed from Kodak. IMAX says the contrast ratio is double that of IMAX 15/70mm film and higher than the 2500:1 contrast ratio of its Xenon lamp systems. The first movie to debut on the system is “The Walk” in 3D. Continue reading IMAX with Laser Debuts with “The Walk” to Positive Reviews

Sony to Build Community of 4K Creators with YouTube Channel

Sony Professional Solutions America launched a YouTube channel dedicated to its own 4K camera, the F55, and 4K productions using it. The “Sony 4K” channel — which currently has 177 followers — was introduced by its two creators: channel manager Brett Erlich and director of Sony’s Digital Motion Picture Center Dan Perry. The channel will feature 4K content in three categories: a curated playlist of 4K productions shot with the F55, “tips and tricks” from the filmmakers using the camera, and how-to videos. Continue reading Sony to Build Community of 4K Creators with YouTube Channel

TiVo Introduces Bolt DVR, Ready for Ultra HD and Ad-Skipping

TiVo introduced its new Bolt DVR this week, with features that TiVo customers have requested for years. That includes a new SkipMode that improves the device’s ability to leap over commercials on recorded content, 4K Ultra HD capability, and, with a fall update, an iOS app that allows the creation of a customized “What to Watch” screen built by selecting categories based on hobbies and interests. The new TiVo also offers an iOS app with AirPlay so users can stream content to Apple TV, and the company says it’s working on an app for Amazon Fire TV. Continue reading TiVo Introduces Bolt DVR, Ready for Ultra HD and Ad-Skipping

Industry Places Spotlight on High Dynamic Range at IBC 2015

At the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam, high dynamic range was a focus of conversation: how to define it, standardize it and distribute it. Broadcasters and purveyors of cameras, post production gear and theatrical exhibition all showed off their own versions of HDR. The key to success, say experts, however, is to come up with a single standard, a feat that both the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) are busily working on. Continue reading Industry Places Spotlight on High Dynamic Range at IBC 2015

Amazon Debuts New Tablets and TV Devices to Lure Shoppers

One year after the disappointing release of its Fire smartphone, Amazon is introducing a line of low-cost devices including a new tablet and smart TV plug-ins. The Seattle-based company debuted seven new products yesterday that are slated for release by this year’s holiday season. Among the announcements: a 7-inch Fire tablet with front- and rear-facing cameras that will run for less than $50, an updated $100 Fire TV set-top box that now supports 4K, and a Fire TV stick with voice-activated wand that turns your TV into a cloud-based personal assistant. Continue reading Amazon Debuts New Tablets and TV Devices to Lure Shoppers

Canon Developing Professional 8K Camera, Reference Display

Canon is developing a Cinema EOS 8K camera and 8K reference display, for “the production of next generation content.” Also in the works is a still-image single lens reflex camera with a CMOS sensor offering 120 million pixels, which Canon says is “the world’s highest number of pixels for a CMOS sensor smaller than the size of a 35mm full-frame sensor.” The company claims that the sensor was able to capture an image showing the lettering on the side of an airplane flying 11 miles from the shooting location. Continue reading Canon Developing Professional 8K Camera, Reference Display

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