CES 2013: A Look at Some of the More Interesting Predictions

A favorite pastime of analysts in recent years has been attempting to forecast what will prove to be the top trends emerging from the annual International CES confab in Las Vegas. Of course, this year is no different, as consumer electronics continue to branch out from purely an interest of the technorati, become more intrinsically tied to our lifestyles and subsequently draw more mainstream media attention. As we get ready to hit the show floor when the exhibition opens its doors tomorrow, we take a look at some of the more interesting forecasts recently published. (One of our favorite pastimes is discovering who will be right and who will end up missing the mark.) Continue reading CES 2013: A Look at Some of the More Interesting Predictions

CES 2013: Entertainment Trends Drive New Technologies

With entertainment spending growing to $18.7 billion according to IHS Screen Digest, the entertainment industry is reaping the rewards of offering consumers more choice and options in how they consume content. TV Everywhere’s multi-channel, multi-device approach is finally complementing rather than cannibalizing. The year saw strong growth in Blu-ray discs. UltraViolet’s 7 million households and 8,500 titles now position the format to grow significantly in 2013. Video streaming or SVOD tripled in the first three quarters of the year to an estimated $1.7 billion. And studios continue to experiment with their windowing strategies for electronic sell-through. In this environment, the CE industry continues to respond and innovate. Continue reading CES 2013: Entertainment Trends Drive New Technologies

CES 2013: Ultra High Definition TVs Coming to Las Vegas

CEA predicts that Ultra High Definition (UHD) will be “prominently displayed” at the International CES. The surge in interest followed an International Telecommunication Union-led agreement on two UHDTV standards (effectively 4K and 8K). That occurred in August and since then the focus in the U.S. and the majority of countries looking at UHDTV has been on the 4K flavor (the main exception being NHK, which is developing its 8K Super Hi-Vision system). Continue reading CES 2013: Ultra High Definition TVs Coming to Las Vegas

CES 2013: Display Tech Expected to Highlight UHD and Connectivity

Engadget provides an overview of what it expects we’ll see at CES in early January in regards to display technologies. “The list of tech we’re expecting to see (Ultra HD — aka 4K/8K, OLED, connected TV and second screen interaction) is almost an exact mirror of the high-profile launches from last year’s show,” suggests the post. “The good news, however, is that there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic that this is the year we’ll actually see the technology become available and/or more useful in our daily lives.” Continue reading CES 2013: Display Tech Expected to Highlight UHD and Connectivity

Panavision Exec Discusses Truth About 2K and 4K

When people reference the number of pixels on movie cameras, they are not literally saying the number of pixels, but rather the type of camera, explains Panavision senior VP of Advanced Digital Imaging John Galt. For example, 4K means the camera has 4096 red, 4096 green and 4096 blue photo sites. But Galt suggests that not all cameras are marketed accurately and distinguishes between “marketing” pixels and actual pixels. Continue reading Panavision Exec Discusses Truth About 2K and 4K

CES 2013: Sony Announces Ultra HD Video Player Loaded with 4K Movies

To help get consumers interested in its 84-inch 4K Ultra HD TV priced near $25,000, Sony will loan buyers a 4K Ultra HD Video Player preloaded with 10 feature films in 4K format. According to the press release, the films include “The Amazing Spiderman,” “Total Recall,” “Salt,” “Bad Teacher,” “Bridge Over the River Kwai,” and “Taxi Driver,” among others.

The Ultra HD Video Player is designed to be updated with additional 4K titles and video clips, says the company. The Sony system includes the 84-inch 4K LED TV and an Xperia Tablet S that serves as a remote control.

“As a standalone unit, the Sony XBR-84X900 TV already upscales all video inputs, including the more than 7,000 Blu-ray Disc titles currently in distribution, to a near-4K resolution through the use of Sony’s proprietary 4K X-Reality PRO three-chip picture engine,” notes the press release.

“While there are other 4K Ultra HDTVs arriving this year — and we expect to see many more at CES in January — at the moment, this is the only one with a content delivery system in place, to go along with its upscaling chops, and the only studio pushing content at this res so far,” reports Engadget.

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4K Heats Up: RED Digital Cinema Announces the Scarlet-X Camera

  • RED Digital Cinema has officially released its Scarlet-X pro video camera with Canon EF or PL mount. Panavision, Anamorphic, and Nikon lenses are also compatible.
  • According to the company’s press release: “With burst modes up to 12 fps at full 5K resolution alongside 4K motion capture from 1-30 fps, the camera allows professional photographers and cinematographers to simultaneously capture motion footage and still content…The addition of HDRx reaches up to 18 stops of dynamic range, bringing digital images closer than ever to the natural perception of the human eye.”
  • The $9,750 Scarlet-X is available for pre-order on RED.com, while the $14,015 Scarlet-X AL Canon Mount Package includes a power adaptor, 5-inch touch LCD, and a hand grip.
  • “Launched the same day as Canon’s new EOS C300 Digital Cinema Camera, clearly the folks at RED have put some thought into their spec-list and price point,” reports Digital Photography Review. “Whether an amateur or professional film-maker should use the C300 or Scarlet (or perhaps Canon’s forthcoming 4K DSLR) will become an interesting debate in the coming year.”

Canon Goes Pro with $20,000 EOS C300 and Previews Cinema DSLR

  • Canon has announced its new Cinema EOS C300 professional camera system.
  • The company is introducing five new lenses for the system, all available in an EF mount: “The lenses are designed to outlast the camera, as they are each rated for use in 4K productions…The zoom lenses will also be made available in PL mount versions,” reports PCMag.com.
  • Its 8.29-megapixel sensor is the same size as Super 35 film. It records MPEG-2 with 4:2:2 color sampling and a maximum bitrate of 50Mbps. Frame rate support includes 60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, and 24p.
  • Canon also announced an unnamed DSLR, optimized for cinema use, which is currently in development: “It will sport a full-frame 35mm CMOS sensor and support 4K video acquisition at 24p using Motion-JPEG compression, although the field of view of its lenses will be cropped to APS-H dimensions when recording at full resolution.”

Sharp Showcases 4K LCD Prototype at Tokyo Electronics Exhibition

  • Sharp is unveiling its new 60-inch LCD TV touting a 3,840×2,160 resolution at CEATEC in Japan this week.
  • The prototype offers four times the definition of full HD and uses ICC (Integrated Cognitive Creation) technology developed by the I3 (I-cubed) Research Center in Kawasaki. ICC attempts to emulate depth and distance experienced when viewing scenes in real life.
  • According to the video demo, the technology involves more than up-conversion of HD content to 4K and noise reduction. Instead, it offers “viewers a sense of perspective, 3D dimensionality and texture that’s much more similar to the natural world” by creating images with “an optical signal instead of an electrical signal.”
  • “It’s not as impressive as that 85-inch TV with Super Hi-Vision resolution (7,680×4,320 pixels) Sharp showed in May this year,” reports TechCrunch, “but in contrast to that model, the 4K TV has a (vague) sales date: sometime in 2012 and in Japan first, according to the company.”

Projector News: Are We Close to Affordable 4K Devices for the Home?

  • ETCentric contributors have recently submitted a number of interesting announcements related to high-end projectors for the home. The following are a few highlights:
  • Sony announced its VPL-VW1000ES with 4K resolution, 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and 2,000 ANSI lumens of brightness that allows it to project on screen sizes up to 200-inches. “During the presentation Sony showed a 4K clip from its upcoming ‘Spiderman’ flick on a VPL-VW1000ES that looked every bit as beautiful as you might imagine,” reports Engadget. Price is rumored to be less than $25,000.
  • JVC is introducing a new line of home theater projectors that features e-Shift technology, which takes 2D HD content and upconverts and scales to a 4K signal (3840 x 2160) to display at “4K precision,” twice the horizontal and vertical resolution of Full HD. The projectors are also 3D-enabled with a 2D-to-3D converter derived from JVC’s professional 2D-to-3D converter and includes user adjustments for 3D depth and subtitle geometry correction. While Sony indicated its projector would be available for less than $25,000, Engadget reports “the top of the line JVC has an MSRP of just $12k, while the cheaper model will be $7,999 when they all ship in November.”
  • Epson’s new home theater projectors feature full HD, active shutter 3D, with 1080p resolution and Bright 3D Drive Technology, which drives the panels at 480Hz, essentially doubling the image refresh rate of 240Hz panels, up to 200,000:1 contrast ratio, up to 2,400 lumens of color and white light output — and enable viewing on larger screens and in a range of ambient light conditions. “The primary difference between the $4,000 6010 and $3,000 5010 (the wireless HD-equipped 5010e will run about $3,500) is the included accessories and options: like ceiling mounts, 3D glasses and additional lens modes,” reports Engadget. “The budget 3010 ($1,600) and 3010e ($1,800) models sport a more modest 40,000:1 contrast ratio and 2,200 lumen rating, but do have a pair of built-in 10W speakers.”
  • Panasonic’s new PT-AR100U home theater projector offers 1080p resolution, a 50,000:1 contrast ratio, and 2,800 lumens of brightness. “Panasonic even aims to make the PT-AR100U less fiddly than a typical projector, with a Light Harmonizer feature that senses ambient lighting and color and automatically adjusts the projector’s white balance, gamma, and sharpness to compensate,” indicates Digital Trends. Expect the projector to be available in October for under $2,000.

Pro Photographer Tests 2X Lens Converter with RED Epic Camera

  • Photographer Vincent Laforet has been testing a new 2X Canon lens converter with his RED Epic camera.
  • Gizmodo explains that he uses a 600mm Canon lens “to effectively double focal length to 1200mm at a 4K resolution.”
  • “The results are nothing short of amazing,” reports Gizmodo, “but then, he is a professional, and had some beautiful scenery to work with.”
  • “This was shot with the yet-to-be-released RED Canon mount — which has full support of autofocus, image stabilization, digital aperture control, touch to focus, touch to rack focus, and distance readout. These are pretty amazing times to be behind the lens,” writes Laforet on his blog. “While long lenses are nothing new in the motion picture world — this type of resolution combined with Canon’s Image Stabilization technology is utterly impressive and should be a huge hit with wildlife and sports photographers around the world.”

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Sony Unveils New F65 CineAlta Digital Motion Picture Camera

Sony unveiled its new F65 CineAlta digital motion picture camera at an NAB press conference in Las Vegas this week. The F65 camera features a 20.4 megapixel, Super 35mm CMOS sensor, a significant jump from the F35′s 12.4 megapixel 1080p CCD. Is this another step away from film as a motion picture medium?

Pictured on the left is Curtis Clark (ASC) who directed a 4K short with the new camera, that is being shown at NAB.

According to Engadget: “…this sensor is fast — not only can it capture up to 72fps on 4K, but it can also crank up to a smooth 120fps on 2K. As for those seeking to squeeze out every bit of detail from their clips, don’t worry: the F65′s got you covered with a 16-bit RAW output (19Gbps) at 4K resolution, or it can be compressed to 5Gbps for the convenience of recording onto the new SR-R4 portable 4K recorder. Looks like Sony’s finally found a candidate that’ll put a lid on film stock, but then again, at the end of the day it’ll depend on the price tag when it comes out in Q3 this year.”

Sony also announced 2 new professional 3D cameras at NAB (and for consumers, the company announced the 3D Handycam and 3D Bloggie cameras at January’s CES).

Read the Sony Blog report on the NAB unveiling: “Sony Kicks off NAB with the announcement of a new 4K professional camera” (4/11/11)

Related Engadget post: “Sony shoots out CineAlta F65 4K camera and PMW-TD300 3D camcorder at NAB” (4/11/11)

The Photography Bay write-up includes video coverage of the NAB press conference and behind-the-scenes footage with Curtis Clark directing a 4K short with the new camera.

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