Cloud Computing Proves an Asset for Productions on a Budget

Today’s cloud services — including CGI, digital intermediate, asset management and storage — are allowing small productions to realize their big visions with less money. Independent films and live events are more frequently using cloud computing to get the rendering and storage services they need without the high costs of traditional physical infrastructure. Productions can also save money because cloud computing helps speed up the long shooting and filmmaking process. Continue reading Cloud Computing Proves an Asset for Productions on a Budget

Viewers Rarely Start a New TV Show Because of Social Media

According to a new study by the Council for Research Excellence, conversations on social media have less influence than traditional factors, such as TV commercials for new shows or laziness in changing channels, in prompting audiences to watch a new show. In addition, only 16.1 percent of survey respondents say they use social media while watching prime time television, and less than half those participants typically use social networks to discuss the show they are watching. Continue reading Viewers Rarely Start a New TV Show Because of Social Media

Microsoft Announces Studio-Grade Skype TX for Broadcasters

Microsoft’s latest messaging tech, Skype TX, integrates high-quality Skype calls into broadcasting. The new product, which bypasses ads and notifications, is studio-grade software that offers improved video and audio quality. It features HD-SDI video output and input, balanced audio output and input, auto aspect ratio conversion, support for multiple calls and API integration. Microsoft envisions TV shows, news programs and live events using Skype TX to connect with people outside of the studio. Continue reading Microsoft Announces Studio-Grade Skype TX for Broadcasters

Warner Bros. Exec Discusses Moving Studio Archive to the Cloud

As part of the “Media Management in the Cloud” conference running at the NAB Show in Las Vegas this week, Brian McKay, executive vice president of production operations at Warner Bros., discussed the challenges and opportunities of moving the studio’s archive into the cloud. In one of the final sessions of the conference, which concluded late Wednesday, McKay appeared onstage with David Cohen, senior editor at Variety, for a one-on-one conversation. Continue reading Warner Bros. Exec Discusses Moving Studio Archive to the Cloud

SPROCKIT Startup Enables Companies to Leverage Fan Content

Chute helps clients take the best content created by a brand’s most loyal customers, people who create content that features their brand, and use it in marketing and ad campaigns with the customers’ permission. Chute scours the Web for user generated content of all types — text, photo, music, video — that celebrates a client’s brand. Using both online metrics and human screening, they select the best examples of content: selfies holding a favorite drink, a post about a store experience, a fake commercial for a favorite car, etc. Continue reading SPROCKIT Startup Enables Companies to Leverage Fan Content

NAB: DataFission Platform Aims to Search the Unsearchable

DataFission has developed generally applicable technology that can index, search and report on all forms of unstructured, metadata-free digital data. With deep roots in military research, this San Jose company has developed algorithms that can index files and streams of data, without human interaction, in one sweep. The system can index any type of data, including video, still images, music, audio tracks, text, software and metadata. According to its brochure, DataFission is “Solving the world’s problem of searching the unsearchable.” Continue reading NAB: DataFission Platform Aims to Search the Unsearchable

Cinemizer HMD Ideal for On-Set Shooting and VR Experiences

In one corner of the Zeiss NAB booth filled with video cameras and lenses, the latest model of the Zeiss Cinemizer head mounted display is plugged into a video camera. The Cinemizer features dual 870×500 pixel OLED displays. An optional soft-rubber Eye Shield blocks out all external light. Once plugged into the camera via a standard HDMI connector, the camera operator sees exactly what the camera sees. The camera controls can be overlain on the image, just as they can appear in the eye piece or screen on the camera itself.

Continue reading Cinemizer HMD Ideal for On-Set Shooting and VR Experiences

CinemaCon: 4DX Theater Technology Coming to Los Angeles

Seoul-based CJ Group, which operates Asia’s largest theater chain, wants to transform the multiplex experience with its new 4DX theater technology. The conglomerate has signed a deal with AEG to introduce “4-D” cinema to U.S. consumers this summer at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live Stadium 14 in downtown Los Angeles. The 4DX tech combines moving and vibrating theater seats with effects such as wind, strobes, fog, rain and scents — all synchronized to the film action taking place on screen. Continue reading CinemaCon: 4DX Theater Technology Coming to Los Angeles

NAB: Panasonic to Preview 4K VariCam with New Image Sensor

During the NAB show in Las Vegas in two weeks, Panasonic plans to preview a newly developed 4K version of its VariCam digital camera. The Varicam 35 — designed for film, TV production and live event coverage — will feature a new super 35mm MOS image sensor that supports 4096 x 2160 using Panasonic’s AVC-Ultra codecs for 4K. The company says the camera, scheduled for fall availability, offers 4K, 2K and HD capture, in addition to 4K RAW output. Continue reading NAB: Panasonic to Preview 4K VariCam with New Image Sensor

Production in the Cloud: ETC to Host OpenStack Event Next Week

The Entertainment Technology Center@USC will host “Eventually OpenStack” on Monday, March 17 in Santa Monica. The event, scheduled for 6:30-8:30 pm and open to all, will examine how open source and cloud technologies are impacting the media and entertainment industry. Presenters include Yahoo’s Sean Roberts (board director at The OpenStack Foundation), DigitalFilm Tree CTO Guillaume Aubuchon, and Steve Hallett of Symantec. For more information, contact Erik Weaver at ETC or visit the event’s registration page. Continue reading Production in the Cloud: ETC to Host OpenStack Event Next Week

Winter Olympics Available via TV, Websites, Apps, Social Media

The 2014 Winter Olympics begin tonight from Sochi with a wide range of options for viewers this time around. Television networks will broadcast a great deal of coverage over the next 18 days, and fans will have numerous options for streaming content via smartphones, tablets and PCs. In addition to the traditional TV broadcasts, a number of websites, apps and social media platforms including Facebook will provide viewers with extended coverage and event highlights. Continue reading Winter Olympics Available via TV, Websites, Apps, Social Media

Japanese Companies Developing Technology for VR Broadcasts

Japanese telecom giant NTT and video network NicoNico Douga have co-developed a 360-degree broadcast video system designed to replicate live events such as concerts. The “interactive” system is expected to connect to existing head-mounted displays, so that viewers will enjoy some degree of personalized viewing. Through the collaboration, live video content recorded in Tokyo has been developed alongside broadcast tech intended to optimize both the video and audio quality. Continue reading Japanese Companies Developing Technology for VR Broadcasts

Amazon to Launch Android Device for Games and Entertainment

Amazon is expected to launch a new sub-$300 games and entertainment device this year that runs Android. To compete with the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, the product — the name of which has yet to be announced — is said to stream and download games, music, movies and television content. Key to the device’s success is its price point, on par with Amazon’s Kindle and Kindle Fire HD, which are priced comparatively lower than Apple’s iPad. Continue reading Amazon to Launch Android Device for Games and Entertainment

Huawei Rises To the 4G Challenge with New Ascend Mate2

Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei is making its move to break into the U.S. market and onto the global scene with the Ascend Mate2, a 4G LTE phone with a splashy 6.1-inch screen and other features that aim it squarely at the active social and entertainment user. A zippy 1.6GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad core processor and 2.4GHz/5GHz dual band Wi-Fi powers 150mbps LTE Cat4 transfer speeds, making it possible to download a feature film in one minute, according to Huawei. Continue reading Huawei Rises To the 4G Challenge with New Ascend Mate2

Trends to Watch: CEA Chief Economist Points to Ultra HDTV

Shawn DuBravac, chief economist for the Consumer Electronics Association, delivered his pre-CES press briefing, “2014 CES Trends to Watch.” DuBravac said he “wouldn’t be surprised to see 75 UHDTV announcements” this week, which could climb to about 150, when including hardware rollouts, distribution deals and related news. According to DuBravac, the big picture emerging trends this year will center on mass customization, multidimensional screen expansion, the age of autonomy, and curation and context. Continue reading Trends to Watch: CEA Chief Economist Points to Ultra HDTV

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