CES: Qobuz High-Res Music Service to Launch in U.S. in 2018

In mid-2018, Qobuz, a European online music streaming and downloading service, will be available in the U.S. The company, which claims it is “the highest resolution music streaming service in the world,” offers 40-million music tracks, among them one million high-resolution tracks. The service is compatible with Mac, iOS, Android and Windows operating systems. Qobuz also produces original editorial content including album reviews, bios, introductions to discographies and exclusive photos, art and videos. The company will showcase its service at CES in Las Vegas next week. Continue reading CES: Qobuz High-Res Music Service to Launch in U.S. in 2018

Netflix to Support Dolby Atmos Surround Sound for Streaming

Netflix plans to support Dolby Atmos surround sound, adding a premium spatial audio format to its existing 4K and HDR technology for images. Dolby Atmos, which debuted in 2012, is not only featured in movie theaters around the world but has been adopted by home theater systems from Denon, Pioneer and others. Microsoft now supports Dolby Atmos with the Xbox One, as do many manufacturers of sound bars and headphones. Hundreds of 2016 LG OLED TV owners are also now clamoring for Dolby Atmos support. Continue reading Netflix to Support Dolby Atmos Surround Sound for Streaming

Dolby Atmos Surround Sound Tech Coming to Home Theaters

Dolby Labs is bringing its Atmos surround sound tech to the living room through Blu-ray and streaming services. Dolby Atmos, the cinema sound system introduced in 2012, will be available via Blu-ray without the need for players to upgrade hardware. Partners will offer receivers, speakers and other devices to help deliver the Atmos experience to the home, while existing BD players that conform to the Blu-ray spec will support Atmos content on a Blu-ray Disc, according to the company. Continue reading Dolby Atmos Surround Sound Tech Coming to Home Theaters

Apple to Buy Beats for $3 Billion: Largest Deal in its History

Apple announced yesterday that it has agreed to purchase Beats Electronics for $3 billion, in a deal that is expected to help the tech giant better compete with subscription-based music services. As anticipated based on earlier reports, Apple will offer the Beats streaming music service, built on curated playlists, and its premium headphones under a separate Beats brand, while the iTunes music store and streaming radio platform will be offered alongside the Beats music service. The Beats deal marks the largest acquisition in Apple’s history. Continue reading Apple to Buy Beats for $3 Billion: Largest Deal in its History

Video Equipment Rentals Plans to Acquire Cameron Pace Group

Journalist and ETCentric contributor Adrian Pennington forwarded us news that Los Angeles-based Video Equipment Rentals (VER) will purchase 3D film and television leader CAMERON PACE Group (CPG). Led by James Cameron and Vince Pace, CPG is an innovator in 3D technologies and production services, including the FUSION 3D workflow system. VER, with headquarters in Glendale, California, has dozens of locations across the United States, Canada and Europe. Continue reading Video Equipment Rentals Plans to Acquire Cameron Pace Group

Labels File Copyright Suit Against Pandora Under State Law

Major record labels Sony, Universal and Warner Music, along with indie label ABKCO, filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan last week, claiming that streaming music service Pandora is violating New York’s common-law copyright protections by using songs recorded prior to 1972 without licenses. The suit acknowledges that older songs are not protected under federal copyright, but contends that Pandora needs permission to use them under state law. Continue reading Labels File Copyright Suit Against Pandora Under State Law

Google Aims to Steal Cloud Services Top Spot from Amazon

Amazon pioneered the idea of cloud services that allow individuals to build websites and other apps without using their own hardware. Google has also offered these services, but is repositioning itself to create a larger business out of cloud services. The IT market that spans hardware and software used to operate businesses is worth $600 billion, and cloud services have the potential to take a major share. Google is hoping to make its cloud service business even larger than its enormous ad business. Continue reading Google Aims to Steal Cloud Services Top Spot from Amazon

USC Cinematic Arts Professors Installed in New Endowed Chairs

In a ceremony at the Ray Stark Theater on USC’s Cinematic Arts campus last Thursday, Dean Elizabeth Daley joined George Lucas in welcoming three USC film professors to their new endowed chairs. Made possible by a generous gift from Lucas, the three new chairs — The Sergei Eisenstein Endowed Chair for Cinematic Design, the George Mélies Endowed Chair in Visual Effects, and the William Cameron Menzies Endowed Chair in Production Design — are now held by Bruce Block, Michael Funk, and Alex McDowell respectively. Continue reading USC Cinematic Arts Professors Installed in New Endowed Chairs

Web Video Pioneer KoldCast TV Shutters After Loss of Millions

Early pioneer of original online video content KoldCast TV announced last week that it is shutting down. KoldCast co-founder and CEO David S. Samuels said that the company has lost millions of dollars in its efforts to bring original serialized video to the Web. KoldCast’s production company, The Sixth Wall, will also close as the founders focus their energy on sister companies Dynamic Influence and Wild Spirit Studios, that offer production and consulting services for third parties. Continue reading Web Video Pioneer KoldCast TV Shutters After Loss of Millions

CES 2014: Compelling Products Generating Early Buzz (Part 1)

With the annual Consumer Electronics Show just around the corner, we’ve compiled a first pass list of products and services we’re looking forward to seeing in Las Vegas next week. We believe these should be of particular interest to those who work in entertainment media. While we anticipate seeing products that directly compete or overlap with those on this list — and we hope there will be plenty of additional surprises — we wanted to share some of the expected highlights in advance. Continue reading CES 2014: Compelling Products Generating Early Buzz (Part 1)

Mitsubishi Exits Front Projection and Large Format LCD TV Biz

Mitsubishi recently announced that it would shutter its front-projection and large-format LCD TV operations in order to focus on the company’s LCD data wall display efforts. Mitsubishi says sustained losses in recent years factored into its decision. The move follows the company’s decision last December to exit the rear projection TV business. Mitsubishi, which developed one-piece rear projection systems in the 1970s, is credited with helping to launch the large-screen TV movement. Continue reading Mitsubishi Exits Front Projection and Large Format LCD TV Biz

Media Industry Mourns the Loss of Pioneer Ray Harryhausen

Animator and special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen, 92, died on Tuesday in London, where he had been living. Harryhausen, an innovative artist whose work still inspires filmmakers, often played a principal role in the movies that featured his technical effects. “He frequently proposed the initial concept, scouted the locations and shaped the story, script, art direction and design around his ideas for fresh ways to amaze an audience,” according to The New York Times. Continue reading Media Industry Mourns the Loss of Pioneer Ray Harryhausen

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

You may have noticed that Apple.com’s homepage simply features a thoughtful image of pioneer and innovator Steve Jobs today. As the industry (and world) mourns the loss of a true original, we thought we’d provide you with some early comments to Steve’s untimely passing. The links below will take you to more detailed statements from those who have provided their thoughts.

  • “He changed the way each of us sees the world.” — President Obama
  • “The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.” — Bill Gates
  • “His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me. He was very kind to reach out to me as I became CEO of Google and spend time offering his advice and knowledge even though he was not at all well.” — Larry Page
  • “Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.” — Mark Zuckerberg
  • “He was a historical figure on the scale of a Thomas Edison or Henry Ford, and set the mold for many other corporate leaders in many other industries.” — Walt Mossberg
  • “Everything good I have done, I have done on a Mac.” — John Hodgman (PC in the Mac commercials) via Twitter
  • “People sometimes have goals in life. Steve Jobs exceeded every goal he ever set for himself.” — Steve Wozniak
  • “Steve was a teacher to anyone paying attention, and today is a very sad day for everyone who cares about innovation and high standards.” — Jeff Bezos
  • “Steve’s work made the world a better place for hundreds of millions of people.” — Marc Andreessen
  • The magic of Steve was that while others simply accepted the status quo, he saw the true potential in everything he touched and never compromised on that vision.” — George Lucas
  • “Steve Jobs was an extraordinary visionary, our very dear friend and the guiding light of the Pixar family. He saw the potential of what Pixar could be before the rest of us, and beyond what anyone ever imagined. Steve took a chance on us and believed in our crazy dream of making computer animated films; the one thing he always said was to simply ‘make it great.’ He is why Pixar turned out the way we did and his strength, integrity and love of life has made us all better people. He will forever be a part of Pixar’s DNA. Our hearts go out to his wife Laurene and their children during this incredibly difficult time.” — John Lasseter and Ed Catmull
  • “Steve Jobs was simply the greatest CEO of his generation.” — Rupert Murdoch

Elite Premium TVs Merge the Best of Pioneer and Sharp

  • The new Elite brand of premium LCD TVs is the result of a collaboration between Pioneer and Sharp.
  • Two LED-based LCD models (60- and 70-inch) are 3D, THX certified, claim a refresh rate of greater than 240Hz and feature full-array backlighting instead of edge lighting. They also feature online services such as CinemaNow, Netflix, VUDU and YouTube.
  • Elite TVs include a yellow sub pixel with the standard red/blue/green, that when added together, creates more than 8 million dots on the screen.
  • “But the feature that the company is most hyping is something called Intelligent Variable Contrast,” reports Electronic House. “Found only on the new Elite TVs, it automatically controls both the brightness and backlight to enhance color depth, brilliance and detail in dark areas.”
  • The 3D Elites will ship with active shutter glasses — MSRP of $5,999 for the 60-inch model and $8,499 for the 70-inch.