CES: Amazon Offers Casting from Prime Video App to Devices

Amazon is rolling out Matter Casting, which lets customers cast directly from supported streaming apps on iOS and Android to Fire TV and Echo Show 15 devices. Viewers can begin watching a movie or browse for a Prime Video show on their phone, then cast it to a compatible Fire TV or Echo Show screen. Amazon called the CES announcement “an industry-first demonstration of implementing Matter Casting,” referring to the open-source Matter standard protocol for connectivity between smart home and IoT devices. Amazon is a founding member and active contributor to the Matter standard. Continue reading CES: Amazon Offers Casting from Prime Video App to Devices

Netflix-Approved Camera List Has Expanded to 51 Models

Netflix has the largest global audience of any paid streaming service and produces the most original content, optimum position to recommend camera specs and photographic best practices. Netflix requires that at least 90 percent of a program’s content be captured using hardware from its “approved camera list,” which currently includes 51 models from seven manufacturers. There are some exceptions, mainly for documentaries. But the care the company takes in vetting the list — with input from creatives, camera manufacturers and global experts — makes the five-year-old tradition respected guidance for video professionals. Continue reading Netflix-Approved Camera List Has Expanded to 51 Models

CES: Panasonic’s First Hybrid Autofocus Mirrorless Cameras

Panasonic has unveiled two new hybrid full-frame mirrorless cameras — the Lumix S5II and S5IIX — that use a new autofocus system that will potentially make them competitive with similar offerings from Canon, Nikon and Sony. Coming in the spring and winter, these updated models feature a new 24.2-megapixel sensor with 779 phase-detect AF and 315 contrast points. The new chip also has Dual Native ISO with an ISO range of 100-51200 (50-204800 expanded). The models are powered by Panasonic’s new L2 Engine, said to process at twice the speed of its predecessor, improving overall performance and reducing rolling shutter distortion. Continue reading CES: Panasonic’s First Hybrid Autofocus Mirrorless Cameras

Xperi Names Vestel First Smart TV OEM for ‘Neutral’ TiVo OS

Top European TV supplier Vestel has become the first OEM for Xperi’s new TiVo-branded TVOS. In addition to distributing TVs under its own imprimatur, the Turkish firm manufactures sets for Hitachi, JVC, Toshiba and Panasonic. Vestel will begin selling branded TVs with TiVo as the primary software OS in mid-2023, Xperi said. Smart set manufacturers have increasingly sought a portal approach that helps customers navigate among a dizzying array of individual content platforms while sidestepping the additional costs associated with interfaces from the likes of Amazon Fire, Roku, Google TV or Android TV. Continue reading Xperi Names Vestel First Smart TV OEM for ‘Neutral’ TiVo OS

Netflix Explains Its Camera Requirements and Best Practices

Netflix has updated details for approved camera systems as part of its content delivery requirements. “While capturing at a higher resolution is certainly important to image quality, we know it’s not everything,” Netflix camera systems specialist Kris Prygrocki shared, emphasizing that other attributes include dynamic range, color accuracy, noise performance, sensor readout speed, compression, chrome subsampling and bit depth. Other considerations are post-production software support for the recorded file format, proper color management and metadata options, Prygrocki said. Netflix has had camera standards since 2019. Continue reading Netflix Explains Its Camera Requirements and Best Practices

TiVo Owner Xperi Acquires OTT Software Firm for $109 Million

Technology company Xperi has purchased Norway-based OTT software maker Vewd for $109 million. Xperi purchased TiVo for $3 billion in December 2019, with the goal of integrating TiVo’s video UX with its smart TV expertise. Xperi intends to compete with companies like Amazon, Comcast, Google and Roku for the “gatekeeper” position in the world’s connected-TV living rooms. The Vewd deal gives Xperi access to an installed European footprint of roughly 15 million devices that it plans to target for activation of TiVo+, a free ad-supported TV (FAST) service. Continue reading TiVo Owner Xperi Acquires OTT Software Firm for $109 Million

Biden Administration Intends to Contain TikTok Security Risk

The Commerce Department is taking steps to shore-up federal rules against potential security risks from foreign-owned social platforms like ByteDance’s TikTok, expanding federal oversight to include apps that might be used by “foreign adversaries to steal or otherwise obtain data,” a recent filing in the Federal Register stipulates. The proposed rule allows the commerce secretary to designate certain foreign apps as security risks and force software connected to the Internet to submit to third-party auditing. Such audits could include monitoring logs that show user data as well as the parsing of source code. Continue reading Biden Administration Intends to Contain TikTok Security Risk

NBCUniversal Teams with TikTok to Promote Winter Olympics

NBCUniversal is expanding its partnership with social video platform TikTok to include a joint promotion for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, set to kick off on February 4, and the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, beginning March 4. NBC Winter Games advertisers will reportedly have first crack at piggybacking onto what is being couched as a new type of brand experience that lets them draw from NBC 2022 Winter Games clips as they try to connect with sports fans. TikTok videos with Olympic-related hashtags have resulted in 18 billion views on the platform thus far, according to NBC. Continue reading NBCUniversal Teams with TikTok to Promote Winter Olympics

CES: New Ultra Portable Projectors Stand Out at Trade Show

Several ultra portable projectors were on display at CES 2022. Among the more interesting short throw models were products from Anker, Hisense, Samsung and XGIMI, although the show also featured a range of projector types from the likes of BenQ, JVC, Panasonic, Vankyo and ViewSonic. Generating the most buzz in the short throw category was Samsung’s $899 projector, The Freestyle, that can project from 30 to 100 inches and comes equipped with a 1080p HDR-capable view and 360-degree audio. Also drawing media attention was Anker’s upcoming Nebula Cosmos Laser, which comes in 4K ($2,199) and 1080p ($1,599) versions, and is expected to ship by late March. Continue reading CES: New Ultra Portable Projectors Stand Out at Trade Show

CES: TV, Audio and Drone Tech Make a Splash at Central Hall

ETC’s George Gerba and Don Levy spent Thursday navigating the Las Vegas Convention Center’s Central Hall looking for unique products from major exhibitors at CES 2022 that would be of special interest to the entertainment industry. They found a Hisense ultra-short throw projection TV, a Samsung TV with an adjustment capability that would be useful in-camera as well, Fraunhofer tech for adjusting the volume of dialog separately from other audio in a consumer device, a winged drone with impressive flight duration and speed, and a few other products of note. Continue reading CES: TV, Audio and Drone Tech Make a Splash at Central Hall

Comcast’s Sky Glass 4K QLED Smart TV: The Pros and Cons

Sky Glass, the streaming television platform that Comcast offers European customers as an alternative to dish-delivered Sky Q, has begun generating reviews. Billed as a turn-key smart TV solution, Sky Glass features a 4K display, HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision, a built-in set-top-box and six-speaker Dolby Atmos. It also touts wake-word voice commands at the press of a button and multiscreen functionality via the Sky Stream Puck. However, as a walled garden Sky Glass is said to lack the versatility of Android TV or LG’s webOS TV platforms. Continue reading Comcast’s Sky Glass 4K QLED Smart TV: The Pros and Cons

Tesla Value Pushes Past $1 Trillion with News of Hertz Order

Tesla valuation shot up to $1 trillion on news that Hertz ordered 100,000 vehicles for delivery by the end of 2022. The purchase is anticipated to favorably affect Tesla consumer sales as rental drivers are able to essentially test-drive Tesla electric cars. Over the past year Tesla stock has more than doubled, and the $1 trillion valuation puts it in an elite class of companies including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet whose market caps exceed $1 trillion. Facebook in June crossed the $1 billion valuation mark only to fall below during September and October selloffs. Continue reading Tesla Value Pushes Past $1 Trillion with News of Hertz Order

Illuminarium to Launch ‘Wild’ Immersive Experience in Atlanta

On July 1, experiential entertainment company Illuminarium Experiences will open its first location in Atlanta, Georgia, offering “Wild,” a virtual safari shot by RadicalMedia. The company’s immersive entertainment is intended to offer a kind of virtual reality — but without the clunky headsets. Instead, visitors walk through exhibits with 4K video on giant screens, spatial sound systems, haptic flooring and other interactive features including scent. Tickets for “Wild,” at $35, give the visitor an hour to walk through an 8,000-square-foot room. Continue reading Illuminarium to Launch ‘Wild’ Immersive Experience in Atlanta

CES: TV Technologies Takes Center Stage at Annual Confab

The demand for upgraded televisions and streaming content has increased significantly during the coronavirus pandemic. Nielsen reports that streaming services currently account for a quarter of all TV viewing in North America and, according to CES producer the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), consumers upgrading their TVs led to a shipment record for 2020, a trend expected to continue this year. In addition, an Ampere study indicates that the average U.S. household subscribes to four streaming services. CES 2021 showcased a compelling array of TVs and related tech, including 8K, QNED, MicroLED, MiniLED, NanoCell TVs, ATSC 3.0 (NextGen TV), Filmmaker Mode, transparent displays, enhanced game support and more. Continue reading CES: TV Technologies Takes Center Stage at Annual Confab

CES: Panasonic, Illuminarium to Create Immersive Spectacles

During CES 2021, Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America and Atlanta-based Illuminarium Experiences announced a partnership to use the former’s laser projectors to create “massive entertainment spectacles.” Panasonic will be the exclusive provider of native 4K projectors, 4K professional displays and 4K professional camera solutions for Illuminarium Experiences’ custom-designed 360-degree immersive entertainment centers dubbed “Illuminariums.” The spectacles are aimed to create “communal, connective entertainment.” Continue reading CES: Panasonic, Illuminarium to Create Immersive Spectacles