Digital Media Pipeline: Making Digital a Premium Experience

Panelists at the Entertainment Merchants Association’s Digital Media Pipeline 2014 conference last week considered what defines a premium experience for consumers and how to best deliver it. Execs from Inception, MovieLabs, The Orchard and Sony discussed today’s variety of platforms, ways to keep consumers connected to content, meeting consumer demands, the need for a universal specification that supports multiple platforms, using social tools for search and discovery, and more. Continue reading Digital Media Pipeline: Making Digital a Premium Experience

Panel: Film and TV Production Experts Discuss UHD Revolution

ETC’s Phil Lelyveld recently moderated a media panel on the “Ultra High Def Revolution.” Presented by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at CBS Studios, panelists included Oscar- and Emmy-winning DP Dave Stump of the ASC, Sony Pictures Television’s Phil Squyres, and award-winning DPs and lighting experts Bradford Lipson and Greg Gardiner. Vendors demonstrating UHD solutions included Advantage Video Systems, AJA Video Systems, Blackmagic Design and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Continue reading Panel: Film and TV Production Experts Discuss UHD Revolution

Comcast Unveils Plans to Produce Winter Olympics in Ultra HD

Some of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games will be recorded in Ultra HD according to Tony Werner, Comcast’s chief technology officer. The cable company will integrate a new app in Samsung’s 4K TVs to allow for on-demand streaming of the games broadcast from Sochi. Part of the motivation to record in UHD is to “stimulate the imagination” of viewers to see what 4K can do for sports, Werner explained at a CES panel discussion on UHD content. Continue reading Comcast Unveils Plans to Produce Winter Olympics in Ultra HD

Tumblr Launches Beta Advertising Model with Sponsored Posts

Yahoo is testing sponsored posts within Tumblr’s mobile apps, featuring ads from Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox. The studios aim to generate buzz for movie releases, while Yahoo is hoping to monetize its 300+ million users. The sponsored posts will appear in a list of Tumblr’s most popular blogs under the “Explore” tab, linking to the blogs dedicated to the respective films. Other advertisers include TBS, Delta Air Lines and Calvin Klein. Continue reading Tumblr Launches Beta Advertising Model with Sponsored Posts

Honda Launches National Campaign to Save Drive-In Theaters

Automobile manufacturer Honda recently launched a national campaign called Project Drive-In that hopes to preserve a bit of American history by upgrading drive-in theaters in the U.S. The company plans to donate digital projects to five drive-in theaters that receive the most votes on its website. Honda will also take financial donations to assist in providing more projectors. Drive-ins are struggling, especially during the transition to digital format films. Continue reading Honda Launches National Campaign to Save Drive-In Theaters

Sony Takes Preorders on New 4K Media Player, Ships in July

During our CES coverage in January, we reported that Sony was planning to launch a 4K Ultra HD Media Player, preloaded with 4K movies from Sony Pictures Entertainment. On Monday, the company began taking pre-orders for the $699 device, which will be available this month (new 4K content will be added to the service by the fall). Those who purchase Sony’s 4K TVs will receive a $200 introductory discount on the media player. Continue reading Sony Takes Preorders on New 4K Media Player, Ships in July

Sony Pictures Turns to eyeIO Video Compression for 4K Player

Eye IO, LLC (eyeIO) announced on Friday that its Ultra HD compression encoding technology has been licensed by Sony Pictures to help the studio offer content on Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs in the home. Owners of Sony 4K TVs will be able to access a number of movies via Sony’s 4K media player, which will launch this summer. The eyeIO technology processes, compresses and encodes 4K source files into a format that requires less bandwidth. Continue reading Sony Pictures Turns to eyeIO Video Compression for 4K Player

Movie Studios Turn to the Internet: Are We Ready to Bid Farewell to the DVD?

  • Hollywood studios are responding to the 40 percent drop in home entertainment sales by recognizing that the future may heavily rely upon ramping up Internet delivery businesses.
  • According to the Los Angeles Times: “Across Hollywood, a quiet revolution is brewing that’s about to transform living rooms around the world… In the next few years, the growing number of consumers with Internet-connected televisions, tablets and smartphones will face a dizzying array of options designed to make digital movie consumption a lot more convenient and to entice users to spend more money.”
  • “It’s now critical that we experiment as much as possible and determine how to build a vibrant market for collecting digital movies,” says David Bishop, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment division.
  • Studios may be eager to change, but have yet to determine how it can be effectively accomplished with a uniform approach. As a result, the immediate future will most likely see an expanded but confusing selection of options for consumers.
  • The article looks at some of these potential options including premium VOD, cloud computing, UltraViolet’s “virtual locker,” new offerings from Apple’s iTunes and sharing movies via Facebook.

David Bishop to be Honored at LATM 13th Annual Soiree

  • The non-profit organization Los Angeles Team Mentoring (LATM) will host its 13th Annual Soiree fundraising event at the Beverly Wilshire on Thursday, October 13, 2011.
  • The special event will recognize David Bishop, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, as its 2011 Keystone Honoree. Bishop will be recognized for his ongoing support of LATM and his commitment to charitable and community causes.
  • The evening will include cocktails, a silent auction, dinner, the Keystone Honoree Award presentation and a live auction.
  • All proceeds will benefit the organization’s TeamWorks after-school mentoring program, which is currently operating in 13 LAUSD middle schools.
  • To purchase tickets and/or to find out about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Cassy Horton at chorton@latm.org or call 213-742-6733.

Lucasfilm and Sony Pictures Imageworks Release CG Interchange Format

  • Lucasfilm and Sony Pictures Imageworks unveiled Alembic, a computer graphics interchange format, this week at the SIGGRAPH Conference in Vancouver. Version 1.0 is now available for download.
  • According to Carolyn Giardina of The Hollywood Reporter, Alembic is “an open source system aimed at helping VFX companies easily store and share complex animated scenes across facilities, regardless of what software is being used.”
  • Sony Pictures Imageworks reports Alembic enables its artists to work 48 percent faster while using significantly less disc space.
  • At SIGGRAPH, leading software suppliers including Autodesk, Luxology, The Foundry and Side Effects are showing Alembic support for their top products.

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