Sony Introduces New $1,999 4K Consumer Camcorder at CES

Sony introduced its FDR-AX1 Handycam last September, which the company billed as “the world’s first consumer 4K camcorder.” However, its price tag, form factor and extensive features seemed more professional than consumer. At CES, Sony unveiled the more compact and affordable FDR-AX100, which at $1,999 should appeal to 4K early adopters. The Ax100, expected to hit shelves in March, features a 1-inch 14.2-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor, larger than those typically found in camcorders. Continue reading Sony Introduces New $1,999 4K Consumer Camcorder at CES

Ultra HD Flirting with Aspect Ratio: Video Curves That Please

Immersive technology was all the rage as wide screens took over cinema in the 1950s. Its impact was made real again in three manufacturers’ booths at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show. Samsung, LG and Hitachi all showed impressive 105-inch diagonal, “5K” displays. The immense curved screens, featuring an ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio, are the first of their kind to present movies this close to their native cinematic format. Continue reading Ultra HD Flirting with Aspect Ratio: Video Curves That Please

YEI Demos PrioVR Suit: Combines Motion Capture and Gaming

Billed as, “professional grade motion capture without cameras, cords, or specialized studios,” YEI Technology is promoting its PrioVR suit as the next step in full-body immersion. The 17-sensor, inertial sensing suit can be put on with minimal effort and promises to offer 360 degrees of low-latency, wireless motion capture. The system offers a great deal in terms of virtual reality gaming, but could also make waves for independent cinematographers looking for low cost motion capture. Continue reading YEI Demos PrioVR Suit: Combines Motion Capture and Gaming

CES 2014: Compelling Products Generating Early Buzz (Part 2)

Yesterday we published a first pass list of products and services we’re looking forward to seeing next week at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. Today we’re continuing the list with more that should be of interest to those who work in entertainment media technology. While yesterday’s report focused on gaming, wearable devices, connected vehicles and 3D printing — today’s list takes a look at cameras and camcorders, media players, streaming media and some very large Ultra HD televisions. Continue reading CES 2014: Compelling Products Generating Early Buzz (Part 2)

LG to Debut its First Ultra HD PC Monitor at CES Next Week

During the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, LG Electronics is planning to unveil its 31-inch “Real 4K” 31MU95, the company’s first 4K PC monitor. While manufacturers such as Asus, Dell and Sharp already sell 4K monitors with 3840×2160 resolution, LG’s first offering will tout 4096×2160 resolution at a 16:9 aspect ratio, the ultra-wide 4K resolution favored by the film industry. LG’s 4K monitor is intended for professionals in visual industries including design and film. Continue reading LG to Debut its First Ultra HD PC Monitor at CES Next Week

CES 2014: Exciting Possibilities for Future of 4K Ultra HDTV

At January’s 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, the ETC reporting team will be looking at how vendors are positioning 4K UHD TVs, including what features they consider compelling, and how they are building out the full consumer experience with an ecosystem of products and services. Features we’ll be watching for include resolution and pixel count, extended dynamic range, wider color gamut, a “director’s intent” setting, the latest in 3D, advances in audio, and more. Continue reading CES 2014: Exciting Possibilities for Future of 4K Ultra HDTV

Newest Installment of “The Hobbit” Trilogy Improves Upon HFR

Part two of “The Hobbit” trilogy, out this week, is back with the much-debated High-Frame-Rate (HFR) 3D format — but with some changes. The 2012 “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” boasted 48 frames per second, but some of the criticism of the format was that the super-HD quality was an eyestrain. The new “The Desolation of Smaug” maintains the HFR; however, director Peter Jackson says he’s toned down the sharpness of the image to make it look more “filmic.” Continue reading Newest Installment of “The Hobbit” Trilogy Improves Upon HFR

USC Event: Andy Nicholson on Designing the World of ‘Gravity’

The 5D Institute and USC School of Cinematic Arts will host a special presentation this Friday with production designer and art director Andy Nicholson, who will discuss the 3D space drama “Gravity.” Nicholson will be introduced by USC professor and filmmaker Bruce Block. Following the presentation, a Q&A session will be moderated by editor and author Bill Desowitz. The event will take place 3:30-5:30 at USC’s Eileen Norris Theater. Continue reading USC Event: Andy Nicholson on Designing the World of ‘Gravity’

Netflix Executive Says Theater Owners Resistant to Innovation

During a keynote at the ninth annual Film Independent Forum over the weekend, Netflix executive Ted Sarandos told attendees the video streaming giant might begin releasing its own movies. During the 40-minute speech at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles, the chief content officer attributed the move to the fact that theater owners are resistant to let movies bow day-and-date on Netflix, and that they are not supportive of innovation. Continue reading Netflix Executive Says Theater Owners Resistant to Innovation

DCDC Launches Digital Theatrical Delivery Service via Satellite

The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition launched the industry’s first-ever digital theatrical delivery service yesterday. The service delivers films and other content to theaters via satellite. The DCDC initiative was founded by theater chains AMC, Regal and Cinemark, with Warner Bros. and Universal. Partnering with the remaining major studios and exhibitors Southern Theatres and National Amusements, the service will reach about 17,000 screens in 1,200 theaters. Continue reading DCDC Launches Digital Theatrical Delivery Service via Satellite

ShowEast: Digital Cinema Turns to Laser Projection Tech

To address complaints that theater screens are too dark, especially when showing 3D films, the digital cinema industry is experimenting with laser technology. Advocates of laser-illuminated projection assert that benefits include lower operating costs, reduced power consumption and increased system lifespans. However, others are concerned that the cost may be too exorbitant and fear the involvement of the FDA, since it monitors the use of lasers. Continue reading ShowEast: Digital Cinema Turns to Laser Projection Tech

DirecTV to Co-Finance Indie Films in Exchange for VOD Rights

DirecTV is entering the world of film financing through a new partnership with startup movie studio A24 Inc. Through the deal with A24, the satellite operator will acquire independent films in exchange for exclusive rights to offer them on DirecTV’s video-on-demand services 30 days before the indies are released theatrically. DirecTV will initially commit $40 million to co-finance and market independent films; the first acquired with A24 is the thriller “Enemy,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Continue reading DirecTV to Co-Finance Indie Films in Exchange for VOD Rights

EXCLUSIVE: Netflix, the Emmys, and the Changing Face of Television

In the run-up to last weekend’s Emmy Awards, a great deal was written about the nominations received by “House of Cards,” and what those nominations mean for the future of television, both as a business and as an art form. Though the show missed out on most of the evening’s top honors, the three wins it did secure still mark a turning point in TV’s evolution. While it seems unlikely that the changes in the way television is produced and consumed will be as transformational or as swift as some predict, it does seem clear that the nature of television has changed and will continue to change in several important ways. Continue reading EXCLUSIVE: Netflix, the Emmys, and the Changing Face of Television

Chinese Investor Envisions Movie Themed Real Estate Project

Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group and one of China’s wealthiest investors, announced his plans to build Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis. The project, estimated to cost from $4.9 billion to $8.2 billion, would include film studios, resort hotels, an indoor amusement park, movie theaters and a hospital. The metropolis is a sign of China’s efforts to become a world leader in the filmmaking industry. Last year, Dalian Wanda acquired AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion. Continue reading Chinese Investor Envisions Movie Themed Real Estate Project

EXCLUSIVE: Bran Ferren Q&A Part 2 — We’re Just Getting Started

Bran Ferren, creative consultant to the Envision Symposium taking place September 19-21 in Monterey, sat with ETC for an exclusive look at the issues and context that inspired and provided the guiding principle for this first of its kind gathering of leaders and visionaries in the fields of storytelling, performance, cinema, television and games. This is the second and concluding part of our interview with the legendary designer and technologist. Continue reading EXCLUSIVE: Bran Ferren Q&A Part 2 — We’re Just Getting Started