Digital Agency Exec Details Why Set-Top Box Needs to Die

At an NAB 2019 panel moderated by the organization’s vice president of advanced technology So Vang, Jason Brush detailed the case for why today’s set-top box needs to die. Brush, who is the global EVP for experiences and innovation at WPP’s flagship digital agency known as POSSIBLE, has designed interfaces for set-top boxes (as well as the Sony PlayStation 4 game console and Sony Xperia X10 mobile phones among others). His perspective on the topic arose from an epiphany he had looking at his cable bill. Continue reading Digital Agency Exec Details Why Set-Top Box Needs to Die

Blackmagic Design Debuts Ultra HD URSA Broadcast Camera

Blackmagic Design has introduced the Blackmagic URSA Broadcast camera, aimed at studio programming and live production. The new camera shoots HD and Ultra HD resolution, sports an interchangeable lens mount and is priced at just under $3,500. The URSA Broadcast, available for sale now, has a B4 lens mount that works with existing HD broadcast lenses, which can be switched to allow PL, F or EF lenses. Footage can be recorded with SD or CFast media, both relatively inexpensive, with two slots for each format. Continue reading Blackmagic Design Debuts Ultra HD URSA Broadcast Camera

Augmented Reality Glasses: Vendors Talk Now, Release Later

The main message from many of the AR glasses vendors on the CES show floor was that their current technology meets market needs, but they already plan to release major improvements on the current product line within the next year. Some of them demonstrated working prototypes of those next-generation glasses. Others had non-working mock-ups with descriptions of technical specifications that they said were close enough to the planned deliverable to be discussed publicly. We saw solutions from companies such as Osterhout Design Group, NuEyes, QD Laser, Lumus and Vuzix. Continue reading Augmented Reality Glasses: Vendors Talk Now, Release Later

CE Manufacturers Concerned Over Lack of Global 4K Standards

Journalist and ETCentric community member Adrian Pennington published a story last week regarding the need for global UHD standards, which included comments by Pixel Power CTO Nick Wright. “The staggered introduction of Ultra HD 4K production, distribution and display equipment risks fragmenting the market, adding unnecessary cost and yet again ending any chance of fielding a single, worldwide television standard,” writes Adrian. “The issue is causing concern among many manufacturers.” Continue reading CE Manufacturers Concerned Over Lack of Global 4K Standards

Netflix Makes Super HD and 3D Options Available to All Users

Netflix is starting to provide all of its subscribers with access to Super HD and 3D content. The company announced that it is no longer obligatory for a subscriber to have Open Connect to access higher bitrate HD streams, as well as 3D titles. Netflix may face challenges convincing ISPs to adapt Open Connect; issues related to peering and local content caching are not completely resolved. Netflix also plans to unveil Ultra HD, with four times the screen resolution of HD, in 2014. Continue reading Netflix Makes Super HD and 3D Options Available to All Users

Hands-On Reviews: Striking New Sony DSLRs and Mirrorless Digicams

  • Digital Trends takes four of Sony’s new digicams for a test drive — a pair of 24-megapixel DSLRs (the SLT-A77 and SLT-A65) and two compact mirrorless cameras (the NEX-5N and NEX-7).
  • The 3-day test period was conducted by recording more than 1,200 stills and dozens of short videos in rugged Southern California exteriors.
  • The review speaks highly of the DSLRs: “Sony really leaped ahead with this new pair by upping still resolution, the frame rate, video quality and incorporating a high-quality OLED viewfinder. Resolution is now 24.3 megapixels, the most of any consumer camera. Even with all the pixels, the A77 cranks off 12 frames per second at full resolution; the less expensive A65 does 10. Both also capture AVCHD Progressive movies, which are a beautiful 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second, rather than 1080i.”
  • In terms of cost: “The A77 costs $1,399 for the body only and is sold with an extremely sharp constant-aperture f/2.8 16-50mm lens for around $2,000. The A65 costs $999 with a more traditional 18-55mm lens. As a comparison, the 3.7 fps 18-megapixel Canon EOS Rebel T3i is $899 with an 18-55mm lens.”
  • Regarding the mirrorless cameras, Digital Trends comments: “Although the NEX-7 still requires a final production sample test, the early taste was quite fine. This could easily be the camera of the year given our hands-on experience. The buzz among the reviewers was pretty intense. As for the NEX-5N, although it’s a nice camera, it really paled in comparison to its big brothers and sisters.”
  • Pricing for the mirrorless models: “The NEX-7 has the high-quality finder built-in on the rear top left; the view is very good. We used the camera with an f/2.0 24mm prime lens, which added a cool $1,200 to the basic $1,149 price for the body. The NEX-7 will be sold with a cosmetically-matching black 18-55mm lens for $1,349. This outfit has a very Leica-like vibe and takes some pretty spectacular images… The NEX-5N has a 16-megapixel APS-C sensor (up from 14) and costs $699 with an 18-55mm kit lens.”