CinemaCon: Distribution Plans Challenge Traditional Models

A recent deal between the four largest U.S. theater chains — Regal, AMC, Cinemark, and Carmike — with producer Robert Simonds’ newly announced movie company could place pressure on the traditional Hollywood distribution model. The new company, backed by investors Hony Capital and TPG Growth, plans to release at least ten films per year, and through a new deal release films directly into theaters, bypassing Hollywood’s major studios. Continue reading CinemaCon: Distribution Plans Challenge Traditional Models

Intel Confirms Purchase of Wearables Startup Basis Science

Intel confirmed yesterday that it has acquired Basis Science, a San Francisco-based startup that makes a $199 health-tracking wristband known as the Basis Band. The device — which tracks sleep, heart rate, calories and steps — syncs with iOS and some Android devices via Bluetooth. Up to this point, the Basis Band device has used Texas Instruments chips. Intel has bigger plans than merely supplying processors, and the acquisition could be the first step toward entering the wearables market more directly. Continue reading Intel Confirms Purchase of Wearables Startup Basis Science

Samsung Unveils Pricing, Availability of Upcoming Ultra HDTVs

Samsung announced details regarding its 2014 lineup of Ultra HDTVs and a new 4K video collection. The entry level U8550 flat panel line, starting at $2,500 for the 50-inch model, will launch this month with a 55-inch set and four other sizes in May. The curved U8700 series is expected by late spring in 55-inch and 65-inch screen sizes. And the flagship line, the U9000 curved sets with proprietary Auto Depth Enhancer, will be available in 55-, 65- and 75-inch models, priced at $4,000, $5,000, and $8,000 respectively. Continue reading Samsung Unveils Pricing, Availability of Upcoming Ultra HDTVs

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

NAB 2014: First Trifocal 3D Film Will Be Shown in Las Vegas

Walt Disney Studios’ experimental live action 3D film “Make/Believe” will be shown at NAB in Las Vegas next month. Currently in the final stages of post production, the 10-minute 3D short was shot with a new trifocal camera system. “Make/Believe” was produced by German research institute Fraunhofer HHI with Disney and Berlin firm Real Life Films using Fraunhofer’s hybrid camera system and software. The film will be shown in the Fraunhofer booth at NAB. Continue reading NAB 2014: First Trifocal 3D Film Will Be Shown in Las Vegas

Banjo Raises $16 Million, Aims to Become TiVo for Social Media

Banjo Inc. has raised $16 million in Series B funding in its pursuit to become like a DVR for compelling social media content and conversations. Banjo offers a way to view aggregated, relevant social conversations about news and events attached to specific geographic locations or venues, all in one convenient stream. The startup recently released Android and iOS versions of its mobile app with a new Banjo Rewind feature that lets users access a past event to learn what people were discussing about it. Continue reading Banjo Raises $16 Million, Aims to Become TiVo for Social Media

Notable Cable Industry Vets Raise $21 Million for Layer3 TV

IP video startup Layer3 TV announced that it has raised $21 million in Series A funding. The company, staffed by cable industry veterans, describes itself as “a next-generation cable provider” combining “the best of television, social media, and digital life.” Executives include CEO Jeff Binder (founder of VOD company Broadbus Technologies), CTO David Fellows (formerly of Comcast and AT&T Broadband), and Chuck Hasek as head of video technology (formerly principal architect of video systems at Time Warner Cable). Continue reading Notable Cable Industry Vets Raise $21 Million for Layer3 TV

Prime Focus Technologies to Acquire DAX in $12.5 Million Deal

Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) has agreed to acquire DAX in a deal valued at nearly $12.5 million. PFT is known for CLEAR, its cloud-based content and workflow management platform, while Culver City-based DAX develops media asset management applications and cloud-based production software, including the Emmy-winning Digital Dailies. DAX is actively engaged in the ETC’s Cloud Project, sharing both expertise and development resources. Continue reading Prime Focus Technologies to Acquire DAX in $12.5 Million Deal

NHK to Demo 8K Transmission Over Single TV Channel at NAB

During April’s NAB Show in Las Vegas, Japanese broadcaster NHK plans to demonstrate the latest version of its Super Hi-Vision 8K system, including the wireless transmission of 8K content over a single 6 MHz television channel. The broadcaster will also present the results of recent single-channel, over-the-air 8K test broadcasts performed in Japan. NHK has been promoting the move to 8K Ultra HD, which offers 16 times more resolution than current HD. Continue reading NHK to Demo 8K Transmission Over Single TV Channel at NAB

Smarthome Devices Offer Many Benefits, Raise Privacy Concerns

As was evident at CES in January, a number of smarthome products are entering the market, designed primarily for home security and automation. Most of the products include camera features and the ability to easily watch and/or record activity via apps and mobile devices. While surveillance inside the home isn’t new (think nanny cams and video security systems), the new wave of affordable devices intend to democratize and perhaps even glamorize home surveillance. For homes with multiple inhabitants, this may raise questions regarding privacy. Continue reading Smarthome Devices Offer Many Benefits, Raise Privacy Concerns

3D Systems and Hasbro Co-Venture: 3D Printing Play for Kids

3D Systems, provider of 3D printing solutions, and toy and game company Hasbro have announced plans to co-develop creative, immersive play experiences “powered by 3D printing” for children. The partnership aims to commercialize play printers and platforms later this year, combining 3D Systems’ printing products with Hasbro’s portfolio of consumer brands. 3D Systems has been spending more on R&D, and recently announced plans to partner with Hershey to develop 3D printing tech to produce food items. Continue reading 3D Systems and Hasbro Co-Venture: 3D Printing Play for Kids

Olympics: NBC Shooting Select Events in 4K for Demo Purposes

In addition to its Winter Olympics coverage across television, Web and mobile, NBC is also capturing some of the action from Sochi in 4K resolution. However, since the distribution infrastructure is not in place for Ultra HD broadcasts and only a small number of consumers own UHD TVs, the network is shooting limited 4K content for demonstration purposes only. NBCUniversal’s parent Comcast has scheduled invitation-only viewing parties in Washington DC, San Francisco and Philadelphia. Continue reading Olympics: NBC Shooting Select Events in 4K for Demo Purposes

Dolby Vision Used for New “Chicago: Diamond Edition” Blu-ray

Carolyn Giardina of The Hollywood Reporter forwarded us news that the Best Picture Oscar winner “Chicago” has been remastered in Dolby Vision to create a “Chicago: Diamond Edition” Blu-ray that will go on sale next week. The Blu-ray audio for Rob Marshall’s 2002 film also features a new Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix. Unveiled at CES, Dolby Vision is the company’s tech specification for high luminance, wide color gamut and high dynamic range intended for HD or 4K resolution images. Continue reading Dolby Vision Used for New “Chicago: Diamond Edition” Blu-ray

Samsung Could Unveil Google Glass Competitor in September

Unnamed sources at Samsung suggest the company is developing a Google Glass competitor, currently named Galaxy Glass, that could possibly debut at September’s IFA trade show in Berlin. Google Glass is expected to be commercially available the latter half of this year. According to a Samsung official: “It will be interesting to see which companies get better stakes in the race for smart glasses. Players definitely want to enjoy a ‘first-mover’ advantage in this new and highly lucrative market.” Continue reading Samsung Could Unveil Google Glass Competitor in September

ETC Presents the 2014 CES Final Report: Executive Summary

During the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, held January 6-10 in Las Vegas, ETC tracked the keynote addresses, evolving industry trends and product demos relevant to our member companies. More than 105 original stories and a regularly updated Flickr stream were made available on ETCentric and via daily email alerts. We’ve prepared an excerpt of the Executive Summary from ETC’s CES Final Report, a document which is prepared as an exclusive benefit for ETC’s Gold and Platinum members. Continue reading ETC Presents the 2014 CES Final Report: Executive Summary

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