VR Industry Forum Draft Guidelines Push for Open Ecosystem

Over the weekend, the Virtual Reality Industry Forum (VRIF) released its draft VR and 360 video production and distribution guidelines at IBC 2017 in Amsterdam. The draft document begins with an intro section suggesting best practices for VR/360 production, including experiences with three degrees of freedom (3DOF). It then makes specific recommendations for the technical aspects of visual and audio VR/360 content production, media and presentation profiles, and content security. VRIF aims to release the full guidelines, with an emphasis on an open ecosystem, at CES 2018 in January. Continue reading VR Industry Forum Draft Guidelines Push for Open Ecosystem

20th Century Fox, Panasonic, Samsung Partner on HDR10+

High dynamic range (HDR) is gaining steam in movies and television even as it divides into different versions, each of which has its supporters. Dolby Vision has attracted Sony and TCL, while Samsung, with its HDR10+ open standard, gathered Amazon Video as a streaming partner. Now, partnered with 20th Century Fox and Panasonic, Samsung plans to begin licensing HDR10+ in January of this coming year. The three companies hope that television, Blu-ray and set-top box manufacturers will adopt the HDR10+ format. Continue reading 20th Century Fox, Panasonic, Samsung Partner on HDR10+

Hacker Releases Original Netflix Content, Threatens Networks

A hacker group that goes by the name “TheDarkOverlord” has reportedly stolen episodes from a number of television shows. Over the weekend, 10 episodes from the upcoming fifth season of “Orange Is the New Black” was shared after Netflix did not meet ransom requests. The hackers may have access to up to three dozen series from networks including ABC, CBS, Fox, FX, IFC, NatGeo and NBC. It provided a list of TV series and a few movies to cybersecurity blog DataBreaches.net, claiming that the content was stolen from audio post-production facility Larson Studios. Continue reading Hacker Releases Original Netflix Content, Threatens Networks

NAB 2017: A Look at the Evolving Trends in VR and AR Audio

At the ETC conference on VR/AR, Source Sound VR’s Linda Gedemer moderated a panel of audio experts to talk about today’s VR audio tools, the trends animating VR audio, and their wish list for future technology. Everyone agreed that the audio toolsets for VR/AR seem to change nearly every day, although a handful of tools — such as Dolby Atmos and game tool Wwise — stand out as being widely accepted in this industry sector. Panelists from OSSIC, Nokia, and Source Sound VR described the toolsets they use. Continue reading NAB 2017: A Look at the Evolving Trends in VR and AR Audio

Dolby Uses Biosensors to Research Media’s Impact on Viewers

Dolby Laboratories, known for its proprietary high-dynamic range technology, is conducting research on how media impacts human beings. The biophysical lab, run by chief scientist Poppy Crum, was established in 2015, growing out of research begun in 2012 to better understand human reactions to audio and video. In addition to aiming thermal cameras at them, the subjects wear a 64-channel EEG cap measuring electrical activity in the brain, heart rate and galvanic skin response trackers and a pulse oximeter. Continue reading Dolby Uses Biosensors to Research Media’s Impact on Viewers

NAB and ETC to Present Virtual Reality Summit in Las Vegas

NAB and the Entertainment Technology Center at USC are coproducing a Virtual Reality Summit at the annual NAB Show on Wednesday, April 20, from 1:00-5:00 pm at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The half-day summit will address key concepts and lessons learned regarding VR production. Hands-on practitioners will discuss the technical and business aspects of producing content in this emerging marketplace, which some consider to be a new media type and art form. You can register for the Virtual Reality Summit and learn more about the NAB conference at the event’s website. Continue reading NAB and ETC to Present Virtual Reality Summit in Las Vegas

Nokia Reimagines Hardware with OZO Virtual Reality Camera

Nokia just debuted OZO, its $60,000 virtual reality camera and the first hardware product the company has made since it sold its mobile phone business to Microsoft in 2014. OZO was productized by Dolby Laboratories veteran Ramzi Haidamus, hired by Nokia in July 2014 to figure out the future of its hardware division. When Haidamus saw an early prototype of the virtual reality camera, he says, he was sold on the idea of developing it. He declined to say how many OZOs Nokia has sold thus far. Continue reading Nokia Reimagines Hardware with OZO Virtual Reality Camera

HPA Tech Retreat: Production Experts Talk High Dynamic Range

A Power Session at this week’s HPA Tech Retreat, organized by Disney post production executive Annie Chang, focused on every nook and cranny of high dynamic range and its application in production, post and even displays. The topic is of such interest to Hollywood engineers and technologists that it drew many of the industry’s top experts to speak on their experiences. The Power Session got a start with a short but important HDR primer presented by OneRiver Media owner Marco Solorio, who defined what HDR is and is not. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Production Experts Talk High Dynamic Range

HPA Tech Retreat: VR Experts Talk Cameras, Workflow, Markets

Virtual reality was the focus of a panel I moderated at the HPA Tech Retreat, which included Phil Lelyveld, who runs the VR/AR initiative at ETC; Stuart English, head of worldwide sales for presence capture at Nokia Technologies; and Steve Schklair, producer, cinematographer and chief executive of 3ality/Technica. Lelyveld described the emerging virtual reality space, first noting the increasing number of VR cameras, from the consumer level (GoPro, Ricoh Theta, Kodak PixPro) to the high end (Nokia, NextVR, Headcase). Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: VR Experts Talk Cameras, Workflow, Markets

Wanda Cinemas Plans to Launch 100 Dolby Cinemas in China

Wanda Cinema Line Corporation partnered with Dolby Laboratories to open 100 Dolby Cinema locations in China in the next five years. The first location — as of now unnamed — will open this spring. Dolby Labs combined its Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos to create what it calls a “premium cinema offering for exhibitors and moviegoers that combines spectacular image and sound technologies with inspired design.” Wanda will be the first cinema chain in China to install Dolby Cinema theaters. Continue reading Wanda Cinemas Plans to Launch 100 Dolby Cinemas in China

CES 2016: Exhibits Spread Out Across 2.4 Million Square Feet

Wear comfortable shoes and drink plenty of water, reads the advice on the CES media advisory. Navigating the record 2.4 million square feet, the equivalent of 50 football fields, is an endurance event. Much like a marathon, CES is best managed with a plan and a pace. The first 36 hours of the conference are filled with media briefings and product announcements that will add important detail to the geographic layout. Today, ETCentric provides you with a general guide of where to find key exhibits. Continue reading CES 2016: Exhibits Spread Out Across 2.4 Million Square Feet

Dolby Vision Promises ‘Astonishing’ Brightness, Contrast, Color

Vizio is expected to be the first television manufacturer to showcase Dolby Vision at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. Audio pioneer Dolby is branching into video; the first two Vizio Reference Series sets with Dolby Vision will be demonstrated at this week’s confab. Vizio, which recently announced its affordable D-Series 4K TVs starting at just $600, is stepping away from its traditional low-cost business model to offer Dolby Vision. This month, the company will debut a 65-inch model for $6,000, and the 120-inch version will initially run about $130,000. Continue reading Dolby Vision Promises ‘Astonishing’ Brightness, Contrast, Color

LG Teases 4K Super UHD TV Lineup Plus 98-Inch 8K Model

LG Electronics plans to unveil its new premium line of Super UHD 4K televisions at CES this week, including three series ranging from 49- to 86-inches. According to LG, the lineup features its “most advanced LCD/LED picture quality ever, with expanded color capabilities, advanced picture and sound-enhancing features including high dynamic range (HDR) and LG’s alluring Flat ULTRA Slim design.” The Super UHD models come with LG’s newest generation webOS Smart TV platform. The company will also unveil its first production-ready 98-inch 8K Super UHD model in Las Vegas. Continue reading LG Teases 4K Super UHD TV Lineup Plus 98-Inch 8K Model

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

Fox Offers Titles for WD’s Consumer 4K Ultra HD Movie Drive

A new 4K Ultra HD movie drive aimed at consumers is now on offer from WD, Western Digital’s storage company. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is partnering with WD by offering several movies and TV shows on the drive, dubbed My Passport Cinema. The drive plays back 4K/UHD, HD and HDR on Samsung SUHD TVs and a select range of other Vidity-enabled devices. Vidity is a 4K movie service backed by Warner, Universal, LG, SanDisk, Dolby, M-GO, Comcast and others in addition to Fox, WD and Samsung. Continue reading Fox Offers Titles for WD’s Consumer 4K Ultra HD Movie Drive

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